Neeraj Shekhar, son of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, joined the BJP Tuesday, asserting that the recent Lok Sabha election results convinced him to work under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah for contributing to the nation.
Neeraj, who had resigned from Samajwadi Party and as Rajya Sabha member on Monday, met Modi and Shah before he was inducted into the BJP in the presence of its general secretaries Bhupender Yadav and Anil Jain besides its media head Anil Baluni.
It was becoming difficult for him to continue working in the Samajwadi Party, he told reporters, without elaborating.
It was on an SP ticket that he won the Lok Sabha election from Ballia in 2007, which was held after his father- the sitting MP- died, and again in 2009. After he lost in 2014, the SP sent him to Rajya Sabha and his term was to end in 2020. He was not fielded by the party in the recent Lok Sabha poll.
"The support the prime minister received in the general election convinced me that if I have to work in the national interest, then I should work under him and Amit Shah. The country is convinced that it is safe under them," Neeraj said.
Yadav praised Chandra Shekhar, a socialist leader who won from Ballia eight times making the constituency his pocket borough, and recalled his contribution to the country. The BJP leader described 50-year-old Neeraj as the heir to his legacy.
BJP sources said the party is likely nominate him as its candidate for Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh.
Though Chandra Shekhar was not in Samajwadi Party, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had never fielded any candidate against him from Ballia.
A Thakur by caste, Neeraj Shekhar's presence in the BJP is likely to help the party in parts of eastern UP where his family continues to enjoy influence.