Two have joined the SP and Congress, while others are in touch with the two parties and the BSP.
New Delhi: Opposition parties are wooing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs in Uttar Pradesh, who have been denied tickets by the party. Two of them have already joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress, while others are in touch with the two parties and also the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
So far, the BJP has released the list of 61 candidates for UP in which as many as 12 MPs have not been given tickets. BJP Allahabad MP Shyama Charan Gupta and Bahraich MP Savitri Bai Phule quit the party after they were denied tickets and joined the SP and Congress respectively and announced their candidature from Banda and Bahraich respectively. There are a total of 80 seats in UP out of which two have been given to an alliance partner.
Another BJP MP Anshul Verma from Hardoi has joined the SP after he was denied ticket. Sources said he may be given ticket by the SP. BJP Ballia MP Bharat Singh, who was also denied the ticket, has written an open letter to the people of his constituency. In the letter, he asked: “Where is my fault? Why was I denied ticket? I have always taken up issues related to the constituency. The candidate announced from Ballia has no connect with the people there.” He, however, has not divulged his future course of action. The BJP’s Etawah MP Ashok Kumar Dohre has also quit the party and joined the Congress in presence of Rahul Gandhi. Soon after joining the Congress, he was announced the party’s candidate for Etawah.
BJP’s Fatehpur Sikri MP Chowdhury Babulal has also openly expressed his resentment after he was denied ticket. In Kushinagar, supporters of BJP MP Rajesh Pandey protested against the denial of ticket to their leader and demanded the leadership to re-consider the decision. Other prominent BJP leaders who have not been given ticket in UP are Murli Manohar Joshi (Kanpur), Prikanka Rawat (Barabanki), Krishna Raj (Shahjahanpur), Anju Bala (Misrikh) and Satypal Saini (Sambhal). Sources said some party MPs are in touch with Opposition parties. “They are being lured by these parties to contest the elections. However, all may not switch over. But they will definitely not work for the party,” a BJP leader said.
In case of Raebareli, Ajay Agarwal, who had unsuccessfully contested against former Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the 2014 elections, has written a letter to the party leadership saying that the party may face the anger of the Vaishya community if he was not given the ticket.