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Congress Leaders Switch to BJP Amid Rare Defection of Haryana MP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is rolling out the red carpet for political leaders and prominent individuals who wish to be a part of its “Ab Ki Baar 400 Paar” goal to win more than 400 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. These individuals are anticipated to strengthen the party’s chances at the hustings and provide support in areas where it has yet to get a foothold.

Entry and Exit

The list of members is lengthy and includes political opponents, some of whom have held positions of authority. Over the weekend, the party welcomed former Congress ministers from Rajasthan, Rajendra Yadav, Lal Chand Kataria, and Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya, who has been nominated from Basnwara. Senior Congressman and former minister from Madhya Pradesh Suresh Pachouri also switched sides to the BJP.

In Uttarakhand, Manish Khanduri, the son of former Chief Minister BC Khanduri, has left the Congress to join the BJP. His sister, Ritu Khanduri, is the assembly Speaker.

Brijendra Singh, a BJP member of Parliament (MP) from Haryana’s Hisar, left the party on Sunday claiming “political and ideological differences” to join the Congress. The son of former Union Minister Birender Singh, the former bureaucrat joined the BJP in 2019.

Singh announced in a tweet on X (previously Twitter) that he had resigned from the BJP’s main membership for strong political grounds. I am grateful to the party, national president JP Nadda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Amit Shah for the chance to serve as the Member of Parliament for Hisar.”

Singh said he disagreed with the government’s policy toward farmers, the Agniveers, and how it handled female wrestlers’ charges against BJP member Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. He was also dissatisfied with the BJP’s alliance with the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) in Haryana for the Lok Sabha election. The JJP is a member of Haryana’s coalition government.

In West Bengal, Kunar Hembram, the MP from the Jhargram constituency, earlier quit the BJP citing “personal reasons”.

Motormouths

At his last meeting with his council of ministers on March 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed his ministerial colleagues and party members to refrain from making controversial speeches and speaking out of turn. Yet, barely a week later, the BJP was forced to distance itself from controversial Karnataka MP Anantkumar Hegde’s comments. The MP, who has in the past stoked controversies with his utterances, embarrassed the party by claiming the Constitution can be amended.

“You all must help the BJP to win over 400 seats. Why does the BJP need 400-plus seats? Congress leaders in the past made changes to the Constitution and made it in a way that it does not put Hinduism in front,” Hegde said. “We need to change it and save our religion. We already have a two-thirds majority in Lok Sabha, and we do not have that in Rajya Sabha to amend the constitution… 400-plus numbers will help us achieve that.”

BJP leadership called the statement personal and said it was not the party’s view. The Opposition accused the BJP of a “hidden and devious” agenda of “re-writing and destroying” the Constitution.

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(Source: HT)

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