New Delhi: Veteran Congress leader Narayan Dutt Tiwari on Wednesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with his son Rohit Shekhar, a month before elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The two were inducted at the residence of BJP President Amit Shah. The only one to have been the Chief Minister of both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Tiwari, 91, was also a cabinet minister and held key portfolios like external affairs, finance, industry and parliamentary affairs.
Besides thrice serving as Chief Minister of undivided Uttar Pradesh, Tiwari, a Brahmin, headed the first Congress government in Uttarakhand after it was carved out in 2000.
Tiwari was the Governor of Andhra Pradesh from 2007 until 2009 when he quit after a sex scandal. Complaints were filed seeking his prosecution but Tiwari dismissed the charges as a political conspiracy.
A year earlier, Tiwari was embroiled in another controversy when Rohit Shekhar filed a paternity suit against him, claiming the veteran politician was his biological father.
The intense legal battle led to a court-ordered DNA test, the results of which established Tiwari as Rohit's biological father and Ujjwala Sharma as his biological mother.
In 2014, Tiwari formally married Ujjwala Sharma.
Born in a village in Nainital district of then undivided Uttar Pradesh in 1925, Tiwari made his mark in student politics. He became an MLA in 1952 from Nainital on a Praja Samajwadi Party ticket. He joined the Congress in 1963.
He remained a member of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and also served as Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.
When P.V. Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister, Tiwari and Arjun Singh broke away from the Congress and formed a rival Congress. It merged with the Congress led by Sonia Gandhi later.