Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Paras Ram Mudgal, from Morena, joined the BJP on Friday where he was welcomed by the State president, Narendra Tomar.

Mudgal's defection comes a day after Deputy Congress Legislative Party leader Chaudhri Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi, the MLA from Bhind, crossed the floor during the last day of the 13th Vidhan Sabha here.

Both the MLAs are Brahmins from the Chambal division, where the rivalry between Brahmins and Thakurs is legendary. This time too, party sources say, the defection was engineered by minister Narottam Mishra and Rajya Sabha MP Prabhat Jha- also Brahmins.

According to a Bhopal-based sociologist, the BJP has been searching for Brahmins in Chambal after it denied a ticket to four-time Bhind MP Ramlakhan Singh, a Brahmin, in 2009.

“Brahmin leaders now feel they have better career prospects in the BJP. Caste is a major factor in polling but caste loyalties are dynamic. Methods like these defections are used when the party’s bond with the public decreases,” he explained.

A senior BJP leader explained that Thakurs, Brahmins, Kushwahs and Dalits are four prominent caste groups which can impact poll prospects in Chambal. “The BSP has taken dalits from the Congress. Irrespective of whether these leaders bring Brahmin votes to us, it at least makes a psychological impact on the Congress” said the leader.

BSP State president I.S. More said that as the BSP is a cadre-based party, the departure of a leader does not affect its prospects.