Three former MPs and five former MLAs joined the Samajwadi Party on Monday, as the party continues to attract key leaders from its opponents ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
These leaders are from the BSP and the Congress.
Former MPs — Kailash Nath Singh Yadav (Chandauli), Bal Kumar Patel (Mirzapur) and Kaishar Jahan (Sitapur) — joined the SP in the presence of party president Akhilesh Yadav.
Mr. Patel, a Kurmi, is the brother of slain dacoit, Dadua, and was elected as an MP from Mirzapur in 2009 on an SP ticket. In 2019, on being denied a ticket he joined the Congress and contested from Banda only to finish a distant third with 75,000 votes. However, he is said to enjoy substantial clout among his community in the Chitrakoot-Banda region.
Ms. Jahan, who had won from Sitapur in 2009, also joined the Congress in 2019 and contested the Lok Sabha election. However, she too fared poorly with just 96,000 votes.
Mr. Kailash Nath Singh Yadav is a two-time former MP (1989 and 2004).
Former MLAs Ram Singh Patel, who is Mr. Bal Kumar's son; Sunil Kumar Yadav (Sonvhadra); Ganesh Rahi (Sitapur); Dhirendra Prasad (Shahjahanpur) and Jasmir Ansari, who is Ms. Jahan's husband also joined the ranks of the SP. So did Ashfaq Khan, the BSP candidate from Sitapur seat in 2017.
Speaking at the press conference four years after demonetisation, SP president Akhilesh Yadav said that the sole purpose of the decision by the BJP was to win U.P. in 2017 at any cost.
“The BJP benefited from demonetisation and won U.P.,” the former U.P. CM said.