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Bahraich MP Savitri Bai Phule joins Congress in UP

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Lucknow, Mar 03: Bahraich Savitri Bai Phule, BJP's sitting Lok Sabha lawmaker from Bahraich joined the Congress on Saturday. She was welcomed into the party by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, General secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and general secretary looking after western Uttar Pradesh Jyotiraditya Scindia.

A prominent Scheduled Caste leader, Phule had resigned from the basic membership of BJP on the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar last year, alleging that the ruling party "was trying to create divisions in the society".

Bahraich MP Savitri Bai Phule joins Congress in UP

At a time when the Congress is desperately trying to strengthen its demoralised cadre in Uttar Pradesh, Phule's induction is likely to work as a shot in the arm for the party just prior to Lok Sabha polls. Another prominent leader of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Rakesh Sachan, a former lawmaker from Fatehpur, also joined the Congress.

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Phule joined BJP in 2000 contested the Assembly elections in 2002, 2007 and 2012. She managed to win the 2012 elections and later the 2014 Lok Sabha election. She fell out with the saffron party after the Supreme Court struck down the stringent provisions of the Atrocities Act.

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