New Delhi– Before the Lok Sabha elections, a number of politicians switched parties hoping better prospects. IANS compiles a list of the prominent leaders who switched allegiance in the run-up to the elections.
New faces in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda: On March 4, former Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda jumped ship to the saffron party, stating that only the BJP could save Odisha.
Tom Vadakkan: In a jolt to the Congress, senior leader and Kerala Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan crossed over to the BJP on March 14. Vadakkan had said that he was upset with Congress’ stand on the Pulwama terror attack.
Arjun Singh: Four-time Trinamool Congress MLA Arjun Singh on March 14 switched sides to the BJP. He was reportedly not happy after being denied a Lok Sabha ticket from Barrackpore.
Jaya Prada: Once a star candidate of the Samajwadi Party, actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada on March 26 joined the BJP stating that she was happy to work with “brave leader” Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chandraprakash Mishra: Impressed with the BJP’s performance in the last five years, senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Chandraprakash Mishra, who contested against Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in 2004, joined the BJP on March 20.
Freshers in Congress
Kirti Azad: Former cricketer and BJP MP Kirti Azad severed his 26-year-long association with the saffron party and joined the Congress on February 19, after claiming that he saw the “real faces” of the BJP leaders in the last few years.
Savitri Bai Phule: Sitting BJP MP from Bahraich, Savitri Bai Phule on March 2 joined the Congress, accusing the saffron party of being anti-Dalit.
Rakesh Sachan: Unhappy with the party, prominent Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and former MP Rakesh Sachan joined the Congress on March 2.
Sukh Ram: Former Union Telecom Minister Sukh Ram, along with his grandson Aashray Sharma, joined the Congress on March 25 after the saffron party denied Sharma a Lok Sabha ticket from Mandi.
Shatrughan Sinha: Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha on April 6 officially joined the Congress, bidding farewell to the BJP with which he has shared an acrimonious relationship for years. (IANS)