Pre-poll blows: BJP's Prayagraj MP joins SP, Tezpur MP quits
New Delhi: A series of embarrassing incidents that unfolded on Saturday has brought a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. As per reports, two sitting MPs of the party — Shyama Charan Gupta representing Prayagraj seat in Uttar Pradesh and Ram Prasad Sarmah representing Tezpur constituency in Assam — have resigned while the son of B C Khanduri has joined the Congress and BJP Odisha unit president Basant Panda's nephew has joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)
It's a 'ghar wapasi' for BJPs' Prayagraj MP Shyama Charan Gupta as he joined the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) on Saturday and would contest from Banda parliamentary seat. Gupta had switched sides from the SP to the BJP in 2014. Earlier, Gupta had contested the 2009 general elections as an SP candidate from Phulpur.
The BJP's Tezpur MP, R P Sarmah, took to Facebook to announce his resignation by expressing unhappiness over ill-treatment to the old guard in the party. Sarmah resigned as he was unlikely to get a ticket this time. The BJP is planning to field state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from the constituency.
In reply to a question about Sarmah joining the Congress, state Congress president Ripun Bora said, "Sarmah has not yet contacted us. Since he is the sitting MP, he has his vote base in the constituency. Let him first contact us."
An advocate by profession, Sarmah had been associated with the BJP for a long time. He was also a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).
The third setback to the BJP has come from Uttarakhand as the party's senior leader and former Chief Minister Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri's son, Manish Khanduri, joined the Congress on Saturday at a rally in Dehradun in the presence of party president Rahul Gandhi.
Welcoming him into the party fold, Gandhi said that his joining the Congress will strengthen the party. Speculation is rife that the Congress might field Manish Khanduri from Pauri, the Lok Sabha seat once held by his father.
The fourth setback to the BJP has come from Odisha as the BJP Odisha unit chief Basant Panda's nephew Harischandra Panda joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.