UP crossing fences: 34 leaders, including 2 legislators, join BJP

Lucknow:  More than 30 leaders from Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress and SP today joined the BJP in presence of its party Uttar Pradesh chief Keshav Prasad Maurya. Among those who joined the BJP were ruling Samajwadi Party MLA Shyam Prakash who represents Gopamua constituency in Hardoi district and Pradeep Choudhury, Congress legislator from Saharanpur's Gangoh seat. Leaders, who switched affiliations, included Mr Dharamveer Singh Bagga, Ajay Kumar and Hargovind Kushawaha (all from BSP), former MLC Vikash Sharma and Congress Rae Bareli stalwart Shiv Ganesh Lodhi. Welcoming them, Mr Maurya said the 34 leaders joining the party clearly shows that the Bharatiya Janata Party is coming to power in the state with full majority in assembly elections due early next year. The new entrants expressed their commitment to the BJP and assured to put all their strength in capturing power in the state. Earlier this month, five MLAs -- three from Congress and two from BSP -- had joined the BJP in Lucknow. Senior BSP leader Brajesh Pathak had joined the party in New Delhi on August 22.

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