Day after quitting as Rajya Sabha MP, Neeraj Shekhar joins BJP

Day after quitting as Rajya Sabha MP, Neeraj Shekhar joins BJP

A day after Neeraj Shekhar quit Samajwadi Party and resigned as Rajya Sabha MP, the son of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar Tuesday joined BJP in the presence of the party’s general secretaries Bhupendra Yadav and Anil Jain.

The saffron party is likely to nominate him as its Rajya Sabha candidate from Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he had accepted the resignation of Shekhar after being satisfied that it was voluntary and genuine. “I made inquiries (with Shekhar) of the resignation being voluntary and genuine and having satisfied I have accepted the resignation with effect from July 15,” he said.

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 chose him for a Rajya Sabha berth. Shekhar’s term in the Upper House was to expire on November 2020.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the SP got the Ballia seat as part of its seat-sharing arrangement with the BSP but decided to field former MLA Sanatan Pandey who eventually lost. Sources said Shekhar had been feeling sidelined after being overlooked for the Ballia ticket.

Responding to the development, SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary had said, “It is unfair on Shekhar’s behalf to take such a step. The SP sent him to Rajya Sabha even when he lost the Lok Sabha polls. He should have stuck to some political morals and values.”

(With inputs from PTI)