In a sharp blow to Mayawati, former BSP MP and a close aide of the BSP Supremo, Brajesh Pathak, joined BJP in presence of party president Amit Shah on Monday.
Pathak was described as a “pillar” in the Hardoi-Unnao region of the state. Assembly polls in UP are scheduled next year.
Union Minister Mahesh Sharma said Pathak joining BJP will help the party consolidate Brahmin votes.
Even though he was at the BJP headquarters fulfilling his joining formalities, BSP expelled him for the party, apparently after coming to know of his plans.
Unlike some BSP leaders, including Swami Prasad Maurya, who tore into BSP supremo Mayawati as they joined BJP, Pathak did not attack her but said nepotism, corruption and goondaism ruled the roost in the state.
“I thought any delay will be harmful. Only Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental agenda and Amit Shah’s efforts can rescue UP,” he told reporters.
Asked about his presence in the BSP rally on Sunday and he joining BJP is less than 24 hours, he said he was doing his job in BSP as long as he was there.
Pathak said he had played a role in swinging Brahmin voters to BSP during the 2007 Assembly polls, but Brahmins were disappointed by the party.
BJP is counting on the former Unnao Lok Sabha MP and now a sitting Rajya Sabha member, to help it win over Brahmin voters, who are also being wooed by Congress.
(With PTI inputs)