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Home » India » BJP Leaders Jump Ship To Join Samajwadi Party; Records Show Turncoats Fare Poorly In Elections

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BJP Leaders Jump Ship To Join Samajwadi Party; Records Show Turncoats Fare Poorly In Elections

The BJP turncoats may face a similar fate as TMC candidates did in 2021 West Bengal Polls.

New Delhi: Several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Uttar Pradesh have begun an exodus and are joining other parties as the dates of state Assembly elections 2022 nears. 

Uttar Pradesh Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya was one of the first big names to quit the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet and joined the Samajwadi Party. He was followed by other three BJP MLAs who have also said their goodbyes to the party. 

Sources suggest that there are six other BJP MLAs who met at Swami Prasad Maurya’s residence to discuss further strategy.

The fleeing members who jump the ship just ahead of the poll season is reminiscent of the West Bengal elections in 2021, when BJP welcomed 34 TMC members out of which only 13 got tickets to contest polls. Out of the dozen, only two leaders managed to scrape through – Suvendu Adhikari, former close aide of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and Mukul Roy, former TMC general secretary.

After a humiliating loss, many turncoats went back to Trinamool as Mamata secured a landslide mandate to form her government once again in West Bengal.

So, will the Samajwadi Party also follow the same path as BJP?

SP A New Destination For Turncoats

In the last few months, many big political leaders from the BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress have turned to Samajwadi Party. Senior leaders like Ram Achal Rajbhar of BSP, Imran Masood of Congress, BSP Lok Sabha member Ritesh Pandey’s father Rakesh Pandey, former MLA Brijesh Mishra, BJP legislator from Baharaich district Madhuri Verma, a key face in the influential ‘Kurmi’ community, BJP sitting MLA from Bilsi assembly seat in Budaun district Radha Krishna Sharma and many others have left the BJP for the SP.

Similarly, in West Bengal too, many MLAs including veteran minister Rajiv Banerjee had joined the BJP ahead of the West Bengal Assembly polls in 2021.

ALSO READ: 5 Assembly Election Results Will Also Decide Who Rules The Opposition Space

How Many Changed Sides ?

Members who leave one party for another often complain about problems with the party leadership, other members or simply due to ideological differences.

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An ADR report says that at least 433 MPs-MLAs have changed parties in the last few years. 

Between 2016 to 2020, Congress lost 170 MLAs, BJP 18, BSP and TDP 17, NPF and YSRCP 15, NCP 14, SP 12 and RJD 10 to their rivals.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the 12 MPs left their parties and contested from other parties but not one of them could win a Lok Sabha seat. Out of 357 MLAs who left their parties, only 170 MLAs won. In the same year’s by-elections, 39 of the 48 MLAs who switched sides emerged victorious.

Suvendu Adhikari left Trinamool Congress and handed his resignation on December 16, 2020
Inviting Turncoats Proved To Be A Bad Move For BJP

West Bengal poll results have an important lesson for political parties especially BJP and Samajwadi party. Let’s look at some of the leaders who changed sides just before the elections.

Suvendu Adhikari: Didi’s close aide Suvendu Adhikari defeated Mamata Banerjee by a narrow margin of 1,956 votes from the Nandigram seat. Suvendu got 1,10,764 votes while Mamata got 1,08,808 votes in total.

Rajiv Banerjee: Rajiv Banerjee, who contested from the Dojmoor seat, was defeated by Kalyan Ghosh of TMC. Rajiv got 87,879 votes while Kalyan Ghosh got 1,30,499 votes.

Ravindra Bhattacharya: Ravindra Bhattacharya, who joined BJP, was defeated by TMC’s Becharam Matru from Singur. Becharam got 1,01,077 votes while Ravindra Bhattacharya got only 75,154 votes.

Rudranil Ghosh: Rudranil Ghosh, who joined BJP after quitting TMC, contested from Bhawanipur seat. He was defeated by Sovandev Chattopadhyay of TMC by a wide margin. While Sovandev got 73,505 votes, Rudranil Ghosh managed to get 44,786 votes.

Rathin Chakraborty: Rathin, who also changed side from TMC to BJP, was defeated by cricketer-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari. Manoj Tiwari got 92,372 votes for the Shivpuri constituency while Rathin got 59,769 votes.

Mihir Goswami: Mihir Goswami defeated TMC candidate Rabindranath Ghosh in Natabari seat. Mihir got 1,11,743 votes while Rabindranath got 88,303 votes.

Vaishali Dalmiya: Vaishali, another TMC turncoat, was defeated by Trinamool candidate Rana Chatterjee by a narrow margin in the Bali constituency. Vaishali got 47,110 votes while Rana Chatterjee got 53,347 votes.

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