The season of political cross-overs has arrived with the announcement of the Lok Sabha election dates. A number of opposition leaders have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party over the last few days. In a major setback to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, fifteen leaders of the party have switched over to Bharatiya Janata Party, according to reports. Eleven out of them have contested elections on BSP ticket. BSP had announced its alliance with Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh in January this year.
The BSP leaders who left the party to join BJP before the elections which are scheduled to be held in seven phases, include names like Vijay Prakash Jaiswal who had contested against PM Modi on Varanasi seat in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Gutiyari Lal Duwesh, Ummed Pratap Singh (former BSP spokesperson), Vedram Bhati, Ramhet Bharti who is a founder member of the BSP and has been a Minister in the previous BSP government, Chhotelal Verma (three-time MLA), Udyan Sharma who has been BSP’s election-in-charge in Agra division, Rishabh Tiwari, Dhruv Parashar.
Yesterday Tom Vadakkan of Congress who was the closest aide of Sonia Gandhi joined BJP saying that he was hurt by his party’s stand on Pulwama terror attack and also the questions raised by the Congress Party on the integrity of armed forces. A day before Vadakkan joined BJP, another Congress leader Kalidas Kolambar who has been a seven-time MLA joined the BJP.
On March 12 Vallabh Dharaviya, Congress MLA from Jamnagar Rural had resigned from the Grand Old Party to join the BJP.