In a jolt to the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, three of their leaders switched over to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh on Friday.
Former lawmaker Rajnarayan Budholiya aka Rajju Maharaj joined the BJP at its party office in the presence of BJP state unit chief Mahendra Nath Pandey.
Besides Mr Budholiya, the BSP's 2014 Lok Sabha candidate from Machhlishahr, Bholanath P Saroj, and former state Minister Satish Pallaso too joined the saffron party.
All three were said to be unhappy over the SP-BSP alliance, according to their aides. The three leaders were also denied ticket for the Lok Sabha polls.
The SP, the BSP and the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal have formed an alliance going into the Lok Sabha elections. While the BSP is contesting 38 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the SP and the RLD will contest 37 and 3 seats, respectively.