Lok Sabha Elections 2019: New party, new field don’t deter these turncoats
Elections are all about political heavyweights, young politicians, musclemen and turncoats slugging it out to make their mark in political arena. Starting with 10 prominent turncoats in the fray, HT takes a look at the candidates who are creating a buzz in Lok Sabha Polls.Updated: May 09, 2019, 12:52 IST
Soon after attending a joint ‘gathbandhan’ rally with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati in Mainpuri on April 19, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav flew back to Lucknow to address a hurriedly convened press conference.
At the venue, he walked in with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Machhlishahr Ram Charitra Nishad and announced his induction into the Samajwadi Party. The BJP had denied ticket to Nishad.
On April 22, he was declared the SP candidate from the Mirzapur Lok Sabha seat which the union minister and Apna Dal leader (BJP ally) Anupriya Patel is defending.
Nishad had replaced Rajendra S Bind, considering he has bigger victory potential. He is the latest turncoat in UP’s ongoing poll scene.
Shyama Charan Gupta is another BJP MP (Allahabad) who quit the BJP and is now contesting on SP ticket from Banda.
This entrepreneur-and-politician had been dabbling seats and political parties since he first contested Banda seat unsuccessfully in 1984.
Next he contested from Allahabad on BJP ticket but lost again.
In 1989, he became the mayor of Allahabad with Janata Dal’s support. Soon after he shifted to the Samajwadi Party and won the Banda Lok Sabha seat in 2004. In 2014, he contested Allahabad Lok Sabha seat on BJP ticket and won. And when the BJP gave ticket to Rita Bahuguna Joshi for 2019 elections, he quit BJP to join SP which has fielded him from Banda seat. Rita Bahuguna Joshi too is also among the dabblers who are in poll fray this time.
The daughter of late UP chief minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, she is currently BJP MLA from Lucknow Cant and a UP cabinet minister. Earlier, she was in the Congress serving as its state unit president. Prior to this, she was in the Samajwadi Party.
Like Ram Charitra Nishad and Shyama Charan Gupta, Savitri Bai Phule is another sitting BJP MP who has shifted loyalty this time.
She had turned a rebel a year ago and had been attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party since then.
Phule had won the Balha (Bahraich) assembly seat in 2012 after which the BJP fielded her from Bahraich parliamentary constituency from where she won the election.
In last three months, she first attempted to make inroads into the Samajwadi Party and had met the SP chief a couple of times. However, she eventually joined the Congress and is now defending her seat on the Congress ticket.
When it comes to turncoats, women are as adept and at par in numbers with their male counterparts. Besides Rita Joshi and Savitri Phule, Jaya Prada and Tabassum Hasan are also among them.
Jaya Prada, the two-time SP MP from Rampur, was expelled from the party in 2010 along with her political mentor Amar Singh.
She stayed with Amar Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Manch and then joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) along with Amar in 2014. She contested the Bijnore Lok Sabha seat but lost.
Now, she is again contesting Lok Sabha elections from Rampur against Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan, and both remained in headlines nationwide over their controversial statements.
Tabassum Hasan is a rare turncoat, who has been almost everywhere.
She is the sitting Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) MP who is now contesting the same seat as a Samajwadi Party candidate.
She was a Samajwadi Party member in 2018 when under the SP-BSP-RLD alliance pact, she was made to join the RLD to contest the seat.
She won the seat, and now, the SP has taken her back. She has also been in the BSP and was elected from Kairana on a BSP ticket in 2009 Lok Sabha election.
Shafiq-ur-Rehman Barq, the Samajwadi Party candidate from Sambhal was BSP MP from the same seat between 2009 and 2014.
Former Congress MP from Sultanpur Sanjay Sinh (2009-2014) is again contesting the same seat as a Congress candidate. He is taking on BJP’s Pilibhit MP Menaka Gandhi who is contesting from Sultanpur this time.
Sinh was in the Congress during the times of Sanjay Gandhi and then Rajiv Gandhi and went on to join Janata Dal in 1988. He won from Amethi as a BJP candidate in 1998 and again contested against Sonia Gandhi in 1999 but lost. Sinh returned to the Congress fold in 2003.
Naseemuddin Siddiqui, once a key member in the coterie of Mayawati, was expelled from the BSP in 2017. He joined the Congress and contested from Bijnore.
Uttar Pradesh Congress president Raj Babbar, like Jaya Prada, is another actor-turned-politician in poll fray. He was in the SP for quite some time.
Babbar, who is the Congress candidate from Fatehpur Sikri, entered politics with Janata Dal in 1989. He joined Samajwadi Party and was elected MP from Agra on a Samajwadi Party ticket twice in 1999 and 2004.
Samajwadi Party suspended him in 2006 and after which he quit the party. In 2008, he joined the Congress and won the Firozabad Lok Sabha bypoll against Samajwadi Party’s Dimple Yadav.