PLAY­ING FOOT­SIE WITH MODI

India Today - - BATTLE FOR 2014 -

Is it a los­ing bat­tle then? With its 2009 tally of 22 Lok Sabha seats in Ut­tar Pradesh pre­dicted to shrink, it’s be­come a chal­lenge for Rahul Gandhi’s Congress to keep its flock to­gether. Five of its in­cum­bent MPs are play­ing foot­sie with BJP.

“We wel­come all who have shown their faith in our PM can­di­date Naren­dra Modi.” BJP leader Shah­nawaz Hus­sain’s com­fort­ing prom­ise

to prospec­tive party-hop­pers

by Ku­mar An­shu­man

Ka­mal Kishor ‘Com­mando’ MP, Bahraich

‘Com­mando’is clearly ner­vous af­ter his wife Poonam Kishor lost her de­posit from the Balha As­sem­bly seat in 2012 polls and is talk­ing with Modi’s men. Will they in­dulge him?

Harsh Vard­han MP, Ma­hara­j­ganj

He feels he paid his debt to Congress by de­scrib­ing ex- Army chief V.K. Singh as a “mo­tor­mouth” while on the House De­fence panel. But Modi’s per­ceived gains in Pur­van­chal have con­vinced him saf­fron is the shade to wear.

Jag­dambika Pal MP, Do­mariya­ganj

The vet­eran can no longer take the “hu­mil­i­a­tion” and “lack of re­spect”. He was ex­pected to jump ship at Modi’s March 2 rally in Luc­know but did not. His saf­fron avatar is, how­ever, only a mat­ter of time.

Annu Tan­don MP, Un­nao

Of­ten tar­geted by Arvind Ke­jri­wal for her al­leged links with Mukesh Am­bani and cer­tain that Congress wouldn’t give her a ticket, she’s been warm­ing up to BJP. She be­lieves there is more to a lo­tus than to a hand.

Vi­nay Ku­mar Pandey aka Vinnu MP, Shrawasti

The Congress MP has been toy­ing with the idea of chang­ing his Lok Sabha seat to en­sure a win. But now, friends say, he feels a whole new party like BJP would be a bet­ter deal for him.

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