Neeraj Shekhar Who Left SP Announced as BJP Candidate for Rajya Sabha Bypoll from Uttar Pradesh
File photo: Former SP leader Neeraj Shekhar joins the BJP in the presence of party general secretary Bhupender Yadav in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Credit: ANI Twitter)
New Delhi: Neeraj Shekhar, the son of late Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar who left the Samajwadi Party and joined the BJP, was on Thursday announced as the saffron party's candidate for Rajya Sabha bypoll from Uttar Pradesh.
The bypoll was necessitated due to his resignation from the Rajya Sabha to join the ruling party.
In a statement, the BJP named the 50-year-old as its candidate for the seat for the bypoll to be held on August 26.
Shekhar's win is all but certain due to the overwhelming majority the party enjoys in the state Assembly. The BJP is likely to field defectors from other parties, including former Congress leader Sanjay Sinh and former SP leader Surendra Nagar, as its candidates for the coming bypolls to the House from the state. Both Sinh and Nagar had resigned from their Rajya Sabha membership to join the BJP.
Shekhar, a first-time Rajya Sabha MP, was considered quite close to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and a strong Thakur community leader. A two-time Lok Sabha MP, Shekhar was first elected to the Lower House in a by-election in Ballia in 2007 after his father’s death. He retained the seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Following his defeat in the 2014 parliamentary polls, the SP nominated him to the Rajya Sabha and his term was to expire in November 2020. According to sources, a spat over ticket distribution with Yadav during the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year may have led Shekhar to decide on switching camps.