A day before Narendra Modi’s rally in Lucknow, Rajya Sabha member and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) national general secretary S P Singh Baghel Saturday joined BJP in presence of BJP state in-charge Amit Shah in Lucknow.
Baghel’s term as Rajya Sabha member will end July 4, 2016.
He had won Lok Sabha elections on Samajwadi Party ticket in 1998, 1999 and 2004 from Jalesar. He left the SP after the party denied him ticket from Firozabad.
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Baghel later contested against Akhilesh Yadav from Firozabad as BSP candidate and stood second in 2009. He later contested a by-election against Akhilesh’s wife Dimple, who had lost against Congress’ Raj Babbar, and was placed third. In 2012, he was elected to Rajya Sabha as BSP candidate.
“I want the Gujarat model of development implemented across the country and hence, I have joined the BJP,” he said, adding he is planning to contest the Lok Sabha election from Firozabad. He, however, claimed he has not sought a BJP ticket so far.
The SP has given ticket to Akshay Yadav, son of party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, from Firozabad for Lok Sabha election.
Meanwhile, Amit Shah informed that first phase of Lok Sabha election campaign in the state will conclude with the Sunday rally and the next phase will begin after declarations of polls.
Earlier in the day, former chief minister Kalyan Singh announced his resignation from the Lok Sabha membership and will formally join the BJP in the presence of party national president Rajnath Singh and Modi during rally Sunday.
Kalyan had merged his Jan Kranti Party with BJP in January 2013, but did not join the party formally. “I was an Independent member in Lok Sabha from Etah and as per the rules if I had joined BJP, I would be disqualified. So I delayed my joining,” Singh said.