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Defectors who won in the 2017 Assembly elections

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-03-2017 Meenal Thakur

New Delhi: It paid to switch sides in the assembly elections.

In the run-up to the elections to five state assemblies, many prominent politicians from both national and regional parties defected—mostly to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—and were rewarded with a win. Mint takes a look at some of the victorious defectors.

1. Swamy Prasad Maurya: The former national general secretary of Bahujan Samaj Patry (BSP) and leader of the opposition in the Uttar Pradesh assembly joined the BJP in August 2016. Seen as the Other Backward Classes (OBC) face of the party, Maurya won from the Padrauna constituency.

2. Mukhtar Ansari: The gangster-turned-politician, who switched to the BSP in January 2017 after merging his Quami Ekta Dal (QED) with the Samajwadi Party, won from Mau assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh. However, his son Abbas Ansari and brother Sibgatullah Ansari lost from Ghosi and Mohammadabad respectively.

3. Reeta Bahuguna Joshi: The former Uttar Pradesh Congress president joined the BJP in October 2016. Daughter of former UP chief minister and Congress stalwart Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, Joshi retained her Lucknow Cantt assembly seat—which she contested from, and in the process defeated SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger daughter-in-law, Aparna Yadav.

4. Yashpal Arya: Former Uttarakhand Congress chief and revenue and irrigation minister in the Harish Rawat-led government, Arya was another Congress defector who got the BJP nomination to contest from Bajpur.

5. Kedar Singh Rawat: A former Congress MLA, Rawat rebelled and joined the BJP to contest and win from Yamunotri in Uttarakhand.

6. Satpal Maharaj: A spiritual guru-turned-politician, Satpal Maharaj joined the BJP in 2014 following infighting in the Congress. He won from Chaubattakhal and may be in the race to become next chief minister.

7. Harak Singh Rawat: A prominent Congress MLA from Uttarakhand, Rawat won from the Kotdwar seat on a BJP ticket.

8. Navjot Singh Sidhu: Less than three weeks before the Punjab assembly election, the former Test cricketer-turned-politician and BJP MP joined the Congress in January. Sidhu won the Amritsar East seat in Punjab.

9. N. Biren Singh: Former Congress MLA who joined BJP in November, he won from the Heingang constituency in Manipur.

10. Nemcha Kipgen: Another Congress MLA from Manipur who joined BJP, Kipgen won from the Kangpokpi assembly seat.

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