BJP, Cong turn to turncoats in Allahabad to bolster prospects

Having faced a severe drubbing in the previous Lok Sabha polls for this seat, BJP and Congress are seeking to bolster their prospects for the upcoming elections by inducting, respectively, turncoats from SP and BSP.

First, BJP fielded Shyama Charan Gupta, a businessman-cum- politician, who had been with SP for many years, including as an MP from Banda.

Now, Congress has gone ahead and sprung a surprise by giving the ticket to Nand Gopal Gupta or 'Nandi', a cabinet minister in the former Mayawati government.

While Gupta was denied a ticket this time by SP, Nandi was expelled from BSP recently for seeking support for himself despite the party having declared Keshri Devi Patel as its nominee for the seat.

Nandi, whose wife is the city mayor, had kept trying for a BJP ticket which, however, triggered protests among a section of local party workers. But after BJP finalised Gupta's candidature, he opened a new channel to Congress.

Such was SP and BSP'S dominance in the previous poll, they together secured 3.83 lakh out of the 5.5 lakh votes polled here.

BJP had polled only 11.9 per cent of the votes while Congress finished fourth with 6.7 per cent of the total votes.

The saffron outfit yielded the seat to SP in 2004 after three consecutive wins here by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

Having retained the seat since, SP has this time reposed its trust in sitting MP Kunwar Reoti Raman Singh.

BSP, on the other hand, has replaced its Brahmin nominee of 2009 with an OBC woman candidate with a grassroots base.

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