With Bhaga Barad, the Congress MLA from Talala, joining the BJP, the number of leaders who have jumped the Congress ship is now 56. Before Barad, 47 sitting MLAs left the Congress to join the BJP in the last 15 years. If other big-ticket leaders are included in the list, the number goes up to 55 minus Barad.
Out of the 56 leaders imported from the Congress, BJP has fielded 42 such leaders in the elections so far. Of these, seven won the Lok Sabha elections and 16 won the Assembly polls. In the 11th Assembly elections, held in the backdrop of the Godhra riots in 2002, many BJP stalwarts had left the party and joined the Congress. However, in the 2007 elections, many Congress leaders joined the BJP. Present speaker of the Gujarat Assembly Nima Acharya is one such leader. The trend continued with Ex-Deputy Chief Minister Narhari Amin and Lalsinh Vadodaria.
By the time the 2017 Lok Sabha elections were announced, seven more leaders including Vitthal Radadiya and Jasa Barad switched sides. In 2017, 17 Congress MLAs rebelled and joined the BJP. Since then, another 20 MLAs have joined BJP.
Apart from Nima Acharya, Jayesh Radadiya and Jasa Barad, 13 leaders have won on BJP ticket after leaving Congress. These leaders include Brijesh Merja, Jawahar Chawda and Kunvarji Bavaliya.
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