Dehradun: As the Tehri Lok Sabha bypoll draws near, disgruntled elements in Congress and BJP in Uttarakhand have begun to switch loyalties with Congress leader from Rudraprayag Virendra Singh Bisht joining the rival party here on Tuesday along with scores of supporters.

Bisht had rebelled against the Congress after being denied a party ticket in the Assembly polls early this year, jumping into the fray as an Independent against the party's official nominee Harak Singh Rawat from Rudraprayag seat.

Welcoming Bisht into the party fold, state BJP chief Bishan Singh Chufal said his entry will further strengthen the party's prospects in the Tehri bypoll.

Party sources said though Rudraprayag remains Bisht's main area of influence, he wields considerable clout in Dehradun segment of Tehri Lok Sabha constituency as well, a factor which may help party nominee Maharani Rajlakshmi Shah.

However, unhappy over Bisht's induction into BJP, a section of party leaders from Rudraprayag, including former minister Matbar Singh Kandari are understood to have threatened to quit the party in protest against the move.

But party leaders here asserted there is no resentment within the party over Bisht's induction.

"There is no unhappiness in the party over Bisht's induction," state BJP chief Chufal said.

BJP had recently reinducted former party heavyweight from Jaunsar Munna Singh Chauhan, which is being seen as a shot in the arm for the party ahead of the Tehri bypoll.

Congress on the other hand has also been successful in poaching some BJP leaders.

Former BJP MLA Rajkumar, who had been denied a party ticket in the 2012 Assembly polls from Purola seat in Uttarkashi district and entered the fray as an Independent, joined the Congress on Monday with a large number of his supporters.

There is also speculation that Independent MLA from Tehri Diensh Dhanai is also likely to join Congress but political observers here feel the chances of this are thin as joining a party may imperil his membership of the state Assembly.


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