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Shatrughan Sinha, Jaya Prada, Udit Raj, Priyanka Chaturvedi: Here is what is common among them all

Updated : 2019-04-25 13:08:11

In the poll season, politicians of all hues sense opportunities and attempt to leverage whatever they have to stay relevant, living by the Bismark's classic saying that politics is the art of the possible. As the Lok Sabha polls kicked off earlier this month, we have compiled a list of some of the well-known political faces in India who have switched over allegiances and crossed ideological lines.

Image Source: IANS

Shatrughan Sinha – Shotgun Sinha joined the Congress after the Bharatiya Janata Party denied him Lok Sabha nomination from Bihar's Patna Sahib seat, where he is now pitted against Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He joined BJP in the early 90s, contesting in a by-election against actor and Congress candidate Rajesh Khanna from New Delhi. Before joining Congress, Sinha has represented Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat twice since 2009 General Elections. Sinha’s wife Poonam Sinha is contesting as a Samajwadi Party nominee against Union home minister Rajnath Singh in Lucknow.
Shatrughan Sinha – Shotgun Sinha joined the Congress after the Bharatiya Janata Party denied him Lok Sabha nomination from Bihar's Patna Sahib seat, where he is now pitted against Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He joined BJP in the early 90s, contesting in a by-election against actor and Congress candidate Rajesh Khanna from New Delhi. Before joining Congress, Sinha has represented Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat twice since 2009 General Elections. Sinha’s wife Poonam Sinha is contesting as a Samajwadi Party nominee against Union home minister Rajnath Singh in Lucknow.
Priyanka Chaturvedi - Seen as one of the Congress' most high-profile national spokespersons, Priyanka Chaturvedi quit her 10-year long association to join Shiv Sena saying the grand old party let her down. Chaturvedi tweeted that she was upset with the Congress decision to take back party workers earlier sacked for allegedly manhandling her in September 2018 during a press conference in Mathura.
Priyanka Chaturvedi - Seen as one of the Congress' most high-profile national spokespersons, Priyanka Chaturvedi quit her 10-year long association to join Shiv Sena saying the grand old party let her down. Chaturvedi tweeted that she was upset with the Congress decision to take back party workers earlier sacked for allegedly manhandling her in September 2018 during a press conference in Mathura.
Udit Raj – The Dalit social activist joined the Congress after BJP denied him ticket from the North West Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. Instead of Raj, BJP has fielded Punjabi Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans from the constituency. The former BJP MP had often held views contrary to the party's stand, especially during the Sabarimala issue and 'Bharat Bandh' called by Dalit organisations last year. Earlier this month, he was at the centre of controversy after being caught in a sting done on several MPs, which purportedly showed lawmakers accepting the use of black money for contesting polls.
Udit Raj – The Dalit social activist joined the Congress after BJP denied him ticket from the North West Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. Instead of Raj, BJP has fielded Punjabi Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans from the constituency. The former BJP MP had often held views contrary to the party's stand, especially during the Sabarimala issue and 'Bharat Bandh' called by Dalit organisations last year. Earlier this month, he was at the centre of controversy after being caught in a sting done on several MPs, which purportedly showed lawmakers accepting the use of black money for contesting polls.
Tom Vadakkan - Until he joined BJP in mid-March this year, Tom Vadakkan was considered a close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, working for the party for two decades. The former Congress leader's grudge, according to him, with the party was its stand on the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
Tom Vadakkan - Until he joined BJP in mid-March this year, Tom Vadakkan was considered a close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, working for the party for two decades. The former Congress leader's grudge, according to him, with the party was its stand on the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
Kirti Azad - Cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad is contesting from Jharkhand's Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat on a Congress ticket, after joining the party in February this year. A three-time MP, he was suspended from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015 after some of his remarks were seen as a violation of party discipline. He will face the BJP's sitting MP Pasupati Nath Singh.
Kirti Azad - Cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad is contesting from Jharkhand's Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat on a Congress ticket, after joining the party in February this year. A three-time MP, he was suspended from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015 after some of his remarks were seen as a violation of party discipline. He will face the BJP's sitting MP Pasupati Nath Singh.
Baijayant Jai Panda - Baijayant Jay Panda was the face of Biju Janata Dal in Delhi, working closely with Naveen Patnaik since the latter party chief and Odisha chief minister. However, Panda lost faith in Patnaik and started questioning governance within his party since 2017, around same time BJP posted gains in local elections in the state. Panda resigned from the party and joined BJP, currently contesting as the saffron party's candidate in Kendrapada Lok Sabha seat.
Baijayant Jai Panda - Baijayant Jay Panda was the face of Biju Janata Dal in Delhi, working closely with Naveen Patnaik since the latter party chief and Odisha chief minister. However, Panda lost faith in Patnaik and started questioning governance within his party since 2017, around same time BJP posted gains in local elections in the state. Panda resigned from the party and joined BJP, currently contesting as the saffron party's candidate in Kendrapada Lok Sabha seat.
Jaya Prada - The BJP nominee for the Rampur Lok Sabha seat, Jaya Prada, is contesting against Samajwadi Party's heavyweight minority leader Azam Khan. The actor-turned-politician has donned various hats starting from the Telugu Desam Party and later joining the Samajwadi Party and winning the Rampur Lok Sabha seat in 2004 and 2009.
Jaya Prada - The BJP nominee for the Rampur Lok Sabha seat, Jaya Prada, is contesting against Samajwadi Party's heavyweight minority leader Azam Khan. The actor-turned-politician has donned various hats starting from the Telugu Desam Party and later joining the Samajwadi Party and winning the Rampur Lok Sabha seat in 2004 and 2009.
Arvinder Singh Lovely - A close aide of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and a prominent Sikh leader, Arvinder Singh Lovely had joined the BJP in early 2017 ahead of municipal elections, but had soon had 'ghar waapsi' to the Congress. His reason: he was an 'ideological misfit' in BJP. Lovely will take on BJP's cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir and Aam Aadmi Party's Atishi from the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency.
Arvinder Singh Lovely - A close aide of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and a prominent Sikh leader, Arvinder Singh Lovely had joined the BJP in early 2017 ahead of municipal elections, but had soon had 'ghar waapsi' to the Congress. His reason: he was an 'ideological misfit' in BJP. Lovely will take on BJP's cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir and Aam Aadmi Party's Atishi from the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency.
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