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From Aparna Yadav to Imran Masood to Harak Singh Rawat: The Curious Case of Party Hoppers Still Awaiting Tickets

Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav is greeted by BJP president JP Nadda at party headquarters in the presence of UP CM Yogi Adityanath in New Delhi, on January 19, 2022. (PTI)

Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav is greeted by BJP president JP Nadda at party headquarters in the presence of UP CM Yogi Adityanath in New Delhi, on January 19, 2022. (PTI)

Assembly elections 2022: Prominent leaders like Harak Singh Rawat in Uttarakhand and Imran Masood and Aparna Yadav in UP have jumped ship but are still not assured of tickets from their new parties.

Jumping parties just before elections is an old phenomenon for ticket aspirants. It is much like professionals jumping companies for better career prospects. But what happens if you resign from a company but the new one does not offer you the job you were eying?

Prominent leaders like Harak Singh Rawat in Uttarakhand and Imran Masood and Aparna Yadav in Uttar Pradesh would know. They have jumped ship to other parties but are still not assured of tickets from their new party.

There is another category of deserters too — who get a good appraisal in their current job but still change their company for a similar job. Like Supriya Aron and Haider Ali Khan from the Congress who got tickets from Bareilly and Rampur, respectively, but have still jumped ship to Samajwadi Party and NDA ally Apna Dal, respectively, assuming they stand a better chance to win then. The latter has become the NDA’s first Muslim candidate in UP.

In Punjab, sitting Qadian MLA Fateh Singh Bajwa jumped to the BJP after the Congress decided to give his brother Partap Singh Bajwa a ticket.

Senior party leaders from the BJP and SP told News18.com that last-minute change-overs pose unique challenges. Like the seat from which Imran Masood, Congress’ main face in Saharanpur, wanted a ticket from was simply not available from the SP-RLD camp.

Masood contests from the Nakur seat in Saharanpur, but the SP already had a candidate on that seat in Dharam Singh Saini to whom Masood had lost in the last elections. Saini, who then won from the BJP and was a minister, is now with the SP and was preferred over Masood. So among the deserters, too, the new ‘employer’ can well be left spoilt for choice.

In the BJP camp, word is that the latest entrant, Yadav family’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav, may also not get a ticket, but could be put up as an MLC candidate after the elections. The sitting BJP MLA from Lucknow Cantonment seat, from where Yadav contested on an SP ticket the last time, has pronounced that he will get that ticket again and Aparna Yadav will not be contesting.

The Samajwadi Party would say “we told you so” if Yadav ultimately does not get the ticket, with the SP believing she was inducted mainly to embarrass the Yadav family.

The case of Harak Singh Rawat from Uttarakhand is even more intriguing. He left the BJP as he reportedly wanted three tickets, for himself from Kotdwar or Kedarnath, for his daughter-in-law Anukriti from Landsdowne and for another aide.

After the BJP cited the ‘one family-one ticket’ rule, a miffed Rawat shifted back to the Congress where so far he seems to be in no different situation. Joining the Congress after a rather tense ‘notice period’ of a week post the BJP sacking him and Congress not officially welcoming him, Rawat now seems to have settled with a ticket for his daughter-in-law Anukriti from Landsdowne, which was announced by the Congress on Monday.

So what happens if Aparna Yadav, Imran Masood and Harak Singh Rawat do not get a ticket even after the switch-over? Will they brazen it out and stay loyal to their new party in the long run? Or will such loyalty be a better virtue for the likes of Supriya Aron and Haider Ali Khan if they win after being spoilt for choice of tickets? We will know soon after the election season gets over.

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first published:January 25, 2022, 10:08 IST