Gaurav Bhatia, former SP leader joins BJP in Delhi

At the time of his resignation, Bhatia had refused to disclose the reason why he was leaving the party before sending his resignation to the party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, and then UP CM Akhilesh Yadav.

In less than two months of resigning from Samajwadi Party (SP), its leader and spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia on Sunday joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Bhatia who was the National President of the Legal Wing of the Samajwadi Party resigned from all the posts he was holding at that time saying his decision was “firmly entrenched” in his “principles of democracy and socialism”.

The political leader announced his resignation on social media platforms on February 5 ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, in which the party witnessed a heavy defeat even after its much-talked alliance with Congress. Although Bhatia at the time of resignation said he had not decided of joining any other political party.

However, later, in a post on social media, Bhatia had mentioned that his decision was “firmly entrenched” in his “principles of democracy and socialism”. In his decade-and-a-half-long association with the party, Bhatia represented SP on numerous TV debates and was a regular on prime-time. He was appointed as the additional advocate general to represent the state in the apex court in 2012. Adding further, he had written, “It is hard for me to continue serving the party when it is compromising the very principles of democracy, secularism & socialism that I have always believed in.”

The party also rattled the AAP government in Delhi by luring away Ved Prakash, one of its prominent MLAs, late last month.

There have been instances of Opposition politicians speaking in praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP-RSS leaders, raising fears of further defections. In the most recent case, veteran Congress leader CK Jaffer Sharief backed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for the President’s post — advising people against doubting the hardline leader’s patriotism just because he was from “one school of thought”.

Bhatia — who was the national president of the Samajwadi Party’s legal wing — had cited “recent developments” as the reason for his resignation. He also denied plans to join any other political party.