Underdog, who won Gorakhpur, joins BJP after ditching SP-BSP alliance
Praveen Nishad, who did the unthinkable by defeating BJP in Gorakhpur in by-polls, joined the saffron party on Thursday. The NISHAD Party walked out of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance last week. The party's leader Sanjay had met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after the decision. BJP's new ally said they would work to ensure Prime Minister Narendra Modi gets another term. Here's more.
Contesting on SP ticket, Praveen snatched Gorakhpur from Adityanath
Sanjay's son Praveen fought on an SP ticket in 2018 and had the support of BSP. BJP was definitely not ready for Gorakhpur loss, as Adityanath went from there to Lok Sabha a record five times since 1998. Not only this, but Adityanath also heads the Gorakhpur Math, which helps him maintain his clout. But the by-polls defeat singed BJP.
However, now NISHAD Party has left BSP-SP alliance
The by-poll results also laid the foundation for the grand alliance in UP. Riding on its success, SP and BSP joined hands to defeat BJP and Congress in the state. But NISHAD Party wasn't happy with the treatment in the alliance. The absence of party members and symbol from the banners miffed the party. Soon, Sanjay quit the alliance.
Sanjay claimed Akhilesh was working under Mayawati's pressure
"I was offered one seat and was asked to contest on the SP's symbol, for which I am not ready. I wanted to contest on my own party symbol 'Bhojan Bhari Thali'. Akhilesh is working under pressure from Mayawati and betrayed me," Sanjay explained.
BJP welcomed NISHAD Party
Rather than reaching out to ally, Akhilesh fielded another candidate
Meanwhile, Akhilesh didn't walk an extra mile to placate the angry ally and fielded another candidate from the same community instead. After Sanjay's exit, SP-BSP fielded Ram Bhuwal Nishad from Gorakhpur. He has been elected as the legislature of Kaudiram assembly seat twice. Notably, the Nishad community has sizeable vote bank in Eastern UP and can sway elections in Gorakhpur area.