- All the 4 SP leaders are Vidhan Parishad members, elected through local bodies
- The four MLCs are Ravi Shankar Singh Pappu, CP Chand, Akshay Pratap Singh and Ram Niranjan
- Their joining is expected to give a major boost to the BJP in the run-up to the polls
In a big jolt for the Samajwadi Party ahead of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, four MLCs of the party on Wednesday have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Deputy CMs Dinesh Sharma, Keshav Prasad Maurya and party's state chief Swatantra Dev Singh. The four leaders are Ravi Shankar Singh Pappu, CP Chand, Akshay Pratap Singh and Ram Niranjan.
All of them are Vidhan Parishad members, elected through local bodies. Their terms are coming to an end in March next year. All these leaders wield considerable influence in their respective areas. They believe that with support from the BJP, they will manage a comfortable reelection next year.
Ravi Shankar Singh Pappu is the nephew of former Prime Minister late Chandra Shekhar. It may be recalled that late Chandra Shekhar's son Neeraj Shekhar has already joined the BJP. CP Chand is the son of former Minister Markanday Chand. Akshay Pratap Singh is cousin of former minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh (Raja Bhaiyya).
Besides, BSP MLC from Jaunpur Brijesh Singh 'Princu' is also changing loyalties to join the BJP. He is considered close to former BSP MP Dhananjay Singh.
Interestingly, most of the leaders joining the BJP belong to the Thakur community. Their joining the BJP is expected to give a major boost to the ruling party which had faced reverses in the panchayat elections held earlier this year.