Former Samajwadi Party MPs Sanjay Seth and Surendra Singh Nagar who resigned from the party and their Rajya Sabha membershp recently, on Saturday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of senior party leader Bhupendra Yadav and its media head Anil Baluni in New Delhi. While Nagar has been a two-time Member of Parliament, Seth, the well-known realtor of Uttar Pradesh was considered to be the treasure of the Akhilesh Yadav-led Party.
Soon after being inducted into the Saffron fold, both Nagar and Seth hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and lauded his government's decision to scrap the provisions of Article 370 to end Jammu and Kashmir's special status in the Constitution.
Yadav said Nagar has been an important leader in Uttar Pradesh, while Seth too held significant positions in the Samajwadi Party, adding that the party, based in Uttar Pradesh, no longer represents its foundational values.
Nagar, a Gurjar leader from western Uttar Pradesh, and Seth, the Co-Vice President of the Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association, had quit their party during the recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament. Speculations have been also rife that the two may again contest the Rajya Sabha bypolls on BJP tickets to fill the seats vacated by them.
The BJP's win in the upcoming Rajya Sabha poll is all but certain due to its huge majority in the state Assembly. It has successfully wooed a number of Rajya Sabha MPs from rival parties, including the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the SP, recently.
Other opposition leaders who joined the BJP of late, include Congress leader Sanjay Sinh, former Congress Rajya Sabha chief whip Bhubaneshwar Kalita, another Samajwadi Party gem Neeraj Shekhar along with four TDP members.
The rise in the saffron party's numbers in the House, coupled with its success in securing support from several regional parties, has resulted in the Union government being able to push its legislative agenda in the Rajya Sabha.