Lok Sabha elections 2019: Former Cong strongman Arvind Sharma joins BJP, may contest from Karnal in Haryana
Sharma was the Congress MP from Karnal between 2004 and 2014, but lost to the BJP’s Ashwini Chopra in the last parliamentary election. Sources say that now that he has joined the BJP, the party may field him from the Karnal constituency in Haryana.Updated: Mar 15, 2019 18:55 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Three-time parliamentarian and former Congress leader Arvind Sharma on Friday joined the BJP in New Delhi.
A Brahmin leader, Sharma was the Congress MP from Karnal between 2004 and 2014, but lost to the BJP’s Ashwini Chopra in the last parliamentary election.
Sharma eventually resigned from the Congress and joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which nominated him as its chief ministerial candidate in Haryana in the 2014 assembly election.
In 2014, Sharma had contested from two assembly seats on the BSP ticket, but had lost both. Eventually, he resigned from the BSP in 2016.
BJP sources say that Sharma could be the party’s possible candidate from his stronghold Karnal seat, a parliamentary constituency that union minister Maneka Gandhi is also eyeing.
Karnal is home district of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, and is considered to be one of the safest seat for the BJP in Haryana, which it won for the first time in 2014 assembly election.
Meanwhile, speculation is rife that Maneka, a several time parliamentarian from Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency, may vacate the seat for her son Varun Gandhi.
Varun Gandhi is a two-term member of the Lok Sabha, currently from Sultanpur in central UP.
Gandhi made his debut from Pilibhit in 2009 parliamentary election, when his mother shifted to Aonla Lok Sabha seat.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Varun Gandhi shifted to Sultanpur, an erstwhile stronghold of the Nehru Gandhi family, and Maneka returned to Pilibhit.
First Published: Mar 15, 2019 16:24 IST