PLAYING FOOTSIE WITH MODI
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
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.