In a potential boost for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Pooja Pal, a member of the legislative assembly (MLA) from the Samajwadi Party (SP), and wife of the late MLA Raju Pal, is likely to join the saffron party. Sources suggest that she is expected to relinquish her MLA membership before joining the BJP, and there are indications that she might be accommodated in the Yogi Adityanath government as a minister or be fielded as a candidate in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The move is seen as significant as it is expected to deepen the BJP's presence among backward communities in the state. Earlier, former MLA Dara Singh Chauhan had also joined the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Moreover, the BJP received another boost with the re-induction of OP Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) into the NDA fold, further strengthening its position ahead of the 2024 polls.
The murder of Raju Pal in 2005, shortly after winning the Allahabad (West) assembly seat, was a significant event in state politics. He had defeated former MP and gangster Atiq Ahmed's younger brother Khalid Azim. Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf were the prime accused in Raju Pal's murder case. However, in April 2023, they were shot dead in Uttar Pradesh while being taken for medical tests.
It is anticipated that Pooja Pal, along with several SP workers, will make the switch to the BJP sometime in the coming week. The BJP is considering fielding her as a candidate for the Sirathu or Prayagraj parliamentary seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The Prayagraj constituency has gained prominence following the murder of Ateek Ahmad and his brother Ashwaf, which caused a significant shift in state politics.
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