District Panchayat Chairman Kamla Devi Pasi, a number of district panchayat members, block development committee members and village heads joined SP in presence of Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister Rajendra Chowdhury and Amethi MLA and minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati.
    
The move came on a day when the Congress vice-president was in his constituency to lay the foundation stone for a mega food park.
    
Rajendra Chowdhury said that with the new members joining SP on Monday, the party would be strengthened in Amethi and adjoining areas.
    
Asked whether SP would field its candidate in Amethi to take on Rahul in next year's Lok Sabha polls, Chowdhury said that the final decision in that regard would be taken by the party leadership.
    
Meanwhile, reacting to the switch by his party members, state Congress president Nirmal Khatri alleged that the ruling SP is coercing people into joining its ranks.
    
"SP is trying to divert the attention of the people away from its failures on all fronts, especially law and order. Members of other parties are being threatened and lured into joining SP. Congress condemns it," Khatri said.

(Agencies)

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