Know Your Turncoats, Part 6: 20 defectors in Phase 2, including 7 who shifted from Cong to BJP

A series looking at the defectors contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

WrittenBy:Nikita Singh& Sumedha Mittal
Cards flipping towards the BJP from the Congress.

A total of 89 constituencies across 13 states are polling in the phase two of the Lok Sabha elections on April 26. This is D-day for many big names including Rahul Gandhi, Bhupesh Baghel, Hema Malini and Arun Govil. 

A total of 20 turncoats are also in the fray in phase two – seven in the BJP and nine in the Congress. All seven in the saffron party jumped the ship from Congress, while five joined the grand old party from the BJP.  

Assam, Bihar, and Maharashtra each have one turncoat in the second phase of the polls. A total of four defectors each are contesting in Rajasthan and Karnataka. Two candidates have jumped ship each in West Bengal, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh, and three in Uttar Pradesh, respectively.

To know about the turncoats in phase one polls, read here

In part six of this Newslaundry series on the candidates who have jumped ship, let’s look at the politicians who shifted allegiance from Congress to the BJP and are contesting in phase two of the polls. 

Suresh Bora  

Suresh Bora is the BJP candidate from Assam’s Nagaon. 

The 52-year-old is a politician and businessman invested in civil contracts and retail wine shops. He studied until Class 12 and has one criminal case against him for alleged conspiracy, cheating, and forgery.  

Bora left the Congress last year, saying the “evolving circumstances lead me to believe that stepping down is in the best interest”.

Bora served as the chief of the Congress’s Nagaon district committee till November last year, when he parted with a polite note saying he was “grateful for the opportunities” but the “evolving circumstances lead me to believe that stepping down is in the best interest”.

The politician is in the fray against incumbent MP and Congress leader Pradyut Bordoloi, who had secured the seat with a vast margin in the 2019 polls. The constituency, which is likely to witness a tough fight from the AIUDF, has a Muslim population of 50 percent. Key issues include concerns over land rights.

Notably, Bora’s wealth has grown by 24 percent from Rs 37 crore in 2021 to Rs 46 crore in 2024. His wife owns jewellery worth 53.72 lakh. He doesn’t have a social media footprint. 

Anil K Antony

Anil K Antony is contesting from Kerala’s Pathanamthitta.

The 38-year-old son of former defence minister AK Antony joined the BJP weeks before the Lok Sabha election. The youth politician had resigned from the Congress in January last year after “intolerant calls to retract a tweet” in which he opposed the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in Gujarat riots.

Antony was booked for linking the bomb blast in Kalamassery to the Israel-Palestine conflict and Palestinian militant group Hamas.

In the Congress, he held the post of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee digital media convener and national coordinator of the All India Congress Committee. He has one pending case against him for linking the bomb blast in Kerala’s Kalamassery to the Israel-Palestine conflict and Palestinian militant group Hamas.  

His father AK Antony has called for his defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, saying “Congress is my religion” and it was “wrong" for children of Congress leaders to join the BJP.  Nevertheless, the junior Antony’s X account features pictures of Modi and “Modiyude Kudumbam” – Modi’s family – alongside his name.  

A consultant by profession, Anil Antony is the director of two companies, Pythia Data and Vajra Consulting, and has wealth worth Rs 1 crore as per his affidavit.         

Dr K Sudhakar

Dr K Sudhakar is contesting from Chikballapur in Karnataka.

The 50-year-old doctor turned politician is one of the 17 politicians to have defected to the BJP during the infamous Operation Kamala or Lotus, which led to the collapse of the Congress-JDS government in 2019. 

He was one of the MLAs involved in Operation Kamala in 2019.

However, Dr Sudhakar also blamed Congress’s Siddaramaiah for his exit from the grand old party, and later went on to become a minister in the BJP government. His X account is full of pictures of PM Modi with “Modi ka pariwar” affixed beside his name.  

He has a pending defamation suit against him. His wealth has increased by a massive 120 percent from Rs 15 crore in 2018 to Rs 33 crore in 2024.

Rahul Singh Lodhi

Rahul Singh Lodhi is the BJP candidate from Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh.

The 40-year-old rebelled against the Congress in 2020 and joined the BJP after unsuccessfully contesting the assembly poll. Four years later, he was given a Lok Sabha ticket despite protests from the party’s Madhya Pradesh top brass.   

Lodhi seems to be favoured by party stalwarts such as Prahlad Singh Patel and Uma Bharti.

Lodhi seems to be favoured by party stalwarts such as Prahlad Singh Patel, who was previously elected from Damoh, and former chief minister Uma Bharti. PM Narendra Modi also campaigned in his constituency, which the BJP hasn’t lost since 1989. 

Lodhi is now set to contest against his former peer and friend, Congress’s Tarwar Singh Lodhi. He has no criminal cases against him, and oddly, his wealth has decreased by 80 percent from Rs 8 crore to Rs 1.6 crore.     

Unlike the usual BJP candidates, Lodhi’s X account barely has pictures of Modi. Most of his tweets and retweets are from meetups in his constituency, and also pictures of former CMs Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Uma Bharti.  

Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya

Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya is contesting from Rajasthan’s reserved constituency of Banswara. 

The 63-year-old was with Congress for 30 years before quitting weeks ahead of the ongoing election. A businessman and farmer, he had once held a cabinet post in the Congress Rajasthan government and also represented the party in the Lok Sabha. 

Malviya was the Congress's Adivasi face in southern Rajasthan.

Malviya, who began his stint with the Congress as an NSUI leader in college, was the party’s Adivasi face in southern Rajasthan. He owns properties in Banswara and Jaipur, and also owns a petrol pump. His income increased by nine percent in one year – from Rs 11 crore in 2023 to Rs 12 crore in 2024.   

The politician created a brand new X account after joining the BJP.

S Balaraj

S Balaraj is contesting from Karnataka’s reserved constituency of Chamarajanagar. 

The 58-year-old began his political career with the Congress in 1994. He subsequently served in the top posts of the Mysuru and Chamarajanagar Youth Congress, and even as the director of Taluk Agricultural Produce Co-operative Marketing Society. 

He is a self-professed admirer of former chief minister BS Yediyurappa.

But the self-professed admirer of former chief minister BS Yediyurappa then joined the BJP in 1999. He jumped ship again in 2009 and joined the Janata Dal (Secular), then departed again for Yediyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Paksha. He went back to the Congress, but was denied the ticket in the last two assembly polls. Now, he is contesting from Chamarajanagar for the BJP.  

As per his affidavit, Balaraj’s personal wealth marginally declined from Rs 1 crore in 2013 to Rs 72 lakh in 2014. However, his wife’s wealth stood at Rs 2.66 crore, including jewellery worth Rs 42 lakh. The engineer turned farmer and politician also has Rs 2 crore worth immovable assets under his Hindu Undivided Family account. He doesn’t seem to have a social media account.        

C Raghunath

C Raghunath is contesting from Kerala’s Kannur. 

The 67-year-old was called a “Congress veteran” till December last year, when he cut ties with the party, citing “disillusionment” with the party’s present state in contrast with the old times.    

Raghunath fought against present chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan from Dharmadam in the last assembly poll.

Raghunath fought against present chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan from Dharmadam in the previous assembly election. He has two cases against him, including one of forgery, fraud, cheating, and criminal conspiracy.    

His wealth stands at Rs 1 crore in 2024, as per his affidavit.  

Also see
article imageKnow Your Turncoats, Part 5: A ‘Brahmin voice’ joins the BJP, a Congressman quits over a ticket
article imageKnow Your Turncoats, Part 4: In Tamil Nadu, 50 percent defectors in BJP-led NDA
article imageKnow Your Turncoats, Part 3: 8 defectors in Tamil Nadu, 3 in AIADMK and 1 in DMK

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