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Politicians switching sides: It's advantage BJP
New Delhi, March 26 - In this election season, parties are seeking to create political momentum for themselves through high-profile inductions. Both Congress and BJP have seen leaders from other parties joining them, and the ruling party appears to have an edge in the political game playing out ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has seen several high-profile inductions, especially from states where it is making efforts to expand its footprint including Odisha, West Bengal and Kerala.
Of late, the party has also got some celebrities in its fold.
Those who joined the BJP recently include former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs Baijayant Jay Panda and Balbhadra Manjhi. They have been fielded from their respective Lok Sabha seats Kendrapara and Navrangpur.
Kharavela Swain, a former BJP MP who rejoined the party, will contest from the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat in Odisha.
Swain, President of the Utkal Bharat, was elected to the Lok Sabha thrice as a BJP member.
Former Odisha DGP Prakash Mishra will fight from the Cuttack parliamentary constituency. His candidature was announced a day after he joined the saffron camp.
Former Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Jaya Prada too joined the party on Tuesday and has been given ticket from Rampur parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh denying ticket to outgoing MP Nepal Singh.
In West Bengal, several Trinamool Congress leaders including its MPs have joined the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Trinamool MPs Saumitra Khan and Anupam Hazra joined the BJP after being expelled from the party. Its four-time legislator Arjun Singh also joined the BJP and have been fielded from Barrackpore against former Railway Minister and Trinamool heavyweight Dinesh Trivedi.
Congress MLA Dulal Bar, Khagen Murmu of CPI-M and former Odisha Minister Damodar Rout are also among those who have joined the BJP in the run-up to the general elections 2019.
Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MLAs Ranbir Singh Gangwa and Kehar Singh, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Chandraprakash Mishra, former Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman K.S. Radhakrishnan, Congress MLA from Odisha Prakash Chandra Behera, former MP and Congress leader Arvind Sharma, Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan and former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Major Surendra Punia have also thrown in their lot behind the BJP.
Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir and Paralympic silver medallist shot-putter Deepa Malik are some noted names from the sports world who joined the party over the past few days.
Mukul Roy, the man who managed Mamata Banerjee's electoral machinary for a long time until being sidelined in the Trinamool Congress, had joined the BJP in 2016.
The major inductions into the Congress include Manish Khanduri, son of BJP leader and former Uttarkhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri, Patidar leader Hardik Patel, rebel BJP MP Kirti Azad, former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram and his grandson Ashray Sharma, outgoing BJP Lok Sabha MP from Bahraich Savitri Bai Phule and former SP member of Parliament Rakesh Sachan.
Former Union Minister and rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha is expected to join the Congress in the coming days.
The party has also seen some inductions in Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Goa.
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