LUCKNOW: In a major setback to the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the party's sitting MP Shyama Charan Gupta from Prayagraj resigned and joined the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) on Saturday.
Gupta will contest the general elections as an SP candidate from the Banda parliamentary constituency.
According to SP leaders, Gupta visited the party office in Lucknow later in the day and met Yadav, after which he was allotted the ticket.
It is said that Gupta was unhappy with the Bharatiya Janata Party over reports that he may be denied a ticket from the Prayagraj constituency, which he won in 2014.
Gupta had earlier contested the 2009 general elections as an SP candidate from Phulpur.
The SP, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal are contesting the coming elections in an alliance.
The SP won five seats in the 2014 elections, while the BSP scored a nil.
The BJP-led NDA alliance had won 73 out of 80 seats in the state while the Congress had won two seats in the state.
The seven phased Lok Sabha elections is scheduled from April 11 to May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.