‘Poaching’ ahead of polls? These prominent BSP leaders have switched to BJP in Uttar Pradesh

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Updated: August 23, 2016 10:54:44 AM

A number of 'big' names associated with BSP have jumped to the BJP bandwagon, to enjoy a slice of the perceived 'Modi wave' and a 'saffron upsurge' in the state.

 the NDA Government as ‘pro-capitalist’ and alleged that Prime Minister Modi had forgotten all of his promises made to the people before the 2014 general election. (PTI)Apart from some prominent names, over a dozen others have joined the BJP since 2014 General Elections. Will they boost BJP’s prospect or doom BSP’s ‘strong’ chances of coming back to power, however, remains to be seen. (PTI)

A number of ‘big’ names associated with BSP have jumped to the BJP bandwagon, to enjoy a slice of the perceived ‘Modi wave’ and a ‘saffron upsurge’ in the state ahead of the Assembly polls early next year. On Monday, BSP’s two-term MP and an upper caste leader Brajesh Pathak joined the BJP. He did this just a day after attending a rally with BSP chief Mayawati. Pathak was inducted in the party in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Brajesh Pathak and described as a “pillar” of upper caste votes in Unnao-Hardoi region of the state. After joining BJP, Pathak didn’t launch a severe verbal attack on Mayawati. However, he said, only PM Narendra Modi and Shah can save UP from prevailing nepotism, corruption and goondaism in the state.

Pathak is not the first leader who has changed party ahead of the elections. Here are some more prominent BSP leaders who have flocked to the BJP camp this year.

Swami Prasad Maurya

Former BSP MLA, Maurya joined BJP in this month. Maurya, who was the leader of opposition in Uttar Pradesh state Assembly, had left the BSP on June 22. Maurya, who has the support of his own Maurya-Kushwaha caste,also known by Shakya and Saini surnames, is expected to increase BJP’s appeal among the non-Yadav castes of the state.

Jugal Kishore
BSP MP and a founder member of the party, Kishore joined BJP in January this year. A Dalit leader himself, Kishore accused Mayawati of selling Dalit votes, while BJP was working towards fulfilling Dalit aspirations. He had even said that Mayawati was no longer “Dalit Ki Beti” but “Daulat Ki Beti”.

RK Chaudhry
Former minister and BSP’s Pasi-caste face has also joined the BJP. Pasis are the second largest Scheduled caste in UP. Chaudhary has been with Mayawati almost since the foundation of the party in the early 1980s.

Deena Nath Bhaskar
Another founder member of the BSP and former minister, Bhaskar joined BJP in May last year.

Jagdish Rana
Former BSP MP, Rana joined BJP in May. Rana, a Thakur leader from Saharanpur, was expelled from BSP earlier this year. he also had a brief stint with the SP.

Apart from these some prominent leaders, over a dozen others have joined the BJP since 2014 General Elections.
Will they boost BJP’s prospect or doom BSP’s ‘strong’ chances of coming back to power, however, remains to be seen.

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