BSP, Congress leaders join BJP in UP; Goa Congress divided

Reports from Lucknow indicate that BSP's sitting MLC from Ghazipur, Chanchal Singh and several other leaders joined BJP on Thursday in the presence of the state unit president Keshav Prasad Maurya in Lucknow.
Sonia, Mayawati

The UP units of BSP and Congress on Thursday suffered a jolt as Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s formal entry into the BJP at a function in New Delhi inspired a lot of others to join the BJP. But this may also add to the stress in the inner formation of the BJP as all the stalwarts from the BSP and Congress, who have joined the party, would expect tickets for the next assembly elections in the state.

Reports from Lucknow indicate that BSP’s sitting MLC from Ghazipur Chanchal Singh and several other leaders on Thursday joined BJP in the presence of state unit president Keshav Prasad Maurya in Lucknow. Chanchal Singh joined BJP along with his supporters at a function held at the BJP headquarters.

Besides Singh, former BSP minister Vinod Tewari from Pilibhit, former MLA from Siswa in Maharajganj Arvind Nath alias Mahant Dubey, former MLA from Sitapur Rakesh Singh (all BSP) and former MLA from Colonelganj Lalla Bhaiya (Cong) joined BJP.

Nalini Shukla and Girish Pandey (SP), BSP candidate from Farrukhaad in 2012 Mahavir Singh Rajput, Congress’ Sanjiv Misra ‘Bobby’ also joined BJP.

Retired Inspector General of Police Lalji Shukla also joined the party.
Welcoming them, Maurya hopes that their presence will further strengthen the party and ensure its victory in the coming Assembly polls.

Meanwhile, in Goa, Congress suffered a huge embarrassment as two of its eight MLAs, Pandurang Madkaikar, and Vishwajit Rane stayed away from a meeting called by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday to assess preparations for the coming assembly elections.

Another legislator, Mauvin Godinho, has already announced his decision to leave the party. At the meeting, some MLAs told Rahul that the party should forge an alliance, whereas many leaders, including PCC chief Luizinho Faleiro, wanted the party to go it alone. It was finally decided that the party would contest the polls alone. It remains to be seen how the MLAs who wanted an alliance with the NCP will react to this decision.