New Delhi: The wave of defections has stretched to regional parties, too. Hours after actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada quit the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last month, the saffron party declared her its candidate for Rampur constituency of Uttar Pradesh after denying ticket to sitting MP Nepal Singh.
In West Bengal, Trinamool Congress (TMC) lost two Parliamentarians to the BJP — Anupam Hazra from Bholpur and Saumitra Khan from Bishanpur. Both had been expelled by TMC for anti-party activities.
Uttar Pradesh saw Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mukul Upadhyay from Sikandra Rao constituency defecting to the BJP. Along with Upadhyay, two former legislators from the BSP Gotiyarilal Dubesh and Ramhet Bharti also joined the saffron party.
In Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP suffered a big blow when nine of its legislators defected to National People’s Party (NPP) earlier this year. They quit the BJP following the party’s decision not to give tickets to state unit general secretary, home minister, tourism minister and several other leaders for the legislative assembly elections which took place along with national elections this time.
The BJP is now left with only 40 members in the 60-member AP state legislative assembly.
In Odisha, Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) Baijayant Jay Panda, Member of Parliament from Kendrapara, defected to the BJP in March. Following his suspension from BJD for “anti-party activities” last year, he had resigned from Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament).
Panda’s joining the BJP gives a major boost to the party in Odisha, which is also voting for the state legislative assembly election.
Interestingly, BSP’s Vijay Prakash Jaiswal defected to the BJP last month after he was denied ticket by party supremo Mayawati. Jaiswal had contested from Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 general election.