2 MLAs join BJP in a week as migration begins in Uttarakhand

The season of ‘cross overs’ has begun in Uttarakhand, ahead of the 2022 assembly elections.

Congress MLA from Purola (Uttarkashi) on Sunday joined the BJP at its national headquarters in New Delhi in the presence of Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and BJP’s state president Madan Kaushik. Rajkumar was with the BJP from 2007 to 2012. After being denied a ticket, he joined the Congress in 2017.

He is the second MLA to join the BJP this week. On September 8, independent MLA from Dhanolti Pritam Singh Panwar joined the BJP.

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Meanwhile, Mahendra Singh Negi alias Guruji, who was associated with the RSS and the VHP, joined the Congress in August. Negi has a good support base in Raipur assembly seat which BJP MLA Umesh Sharma Kau represents in the state assembly.

Kau had left the Congress and subsequently joined the BJP in 2016. Kau was one among the nine Congress MLAs who had revolted against the then Harish Rawat-headed government and later, joined the BJP. The Congress may field Negi as its nominee against Kau in Raipur assembly seat during this election.

This seems to be just the beginning of the ‘cross-over’ season with the Congress, too, targeting some BJP leaders, including its MLAs. “Congress is waiting for the ticket distribution in the BJP camp. We hope to bring BJP leaders in our camp after the BJP gives a final shape to its ticket distribution,” a source in the Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee (UKPCC) said.

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To keep its flock together, the Congress is also reaching out to both its sitting and former MLAs regularly with the assurance that they will be given tickets. The UKPCC president had earlier said that the 26 former MLAs, who stood with the Congress during its tough times in 2016, will be given preference during ticket distribution.

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