Avtar Singh Bhadana, a BJP MLA from Meerapur constituency joined the Congress in the presence of the newly elected general secretary of UP east Priyanka Vadra Gandhi in Lucknow on Thursday. Four times Lok Sabha parliamentarian, Bhadana is considered an influential Gujjar leader who has a stronghold in Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka is holding her first press conference today. On the third day of her Uttar Pradesh visit, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday roped in little-known Mahan Dal as the party's ally for Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh. In a big jolt to the BJP and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Bhadana's proposed inclusion in the Congress is considered to be Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's first masterstroke in the politically crucial state.
Avtar Singh Bhadana's political journey
1988: Chaudhary Devi Lal, the then Chief Minister of Haryana, made Avtar Singh Bhadana the Minister of State for Urban Local Bodies for six months without being an MLA.
1991: Avtar Singh Bhadana became an MP from Faridabad Lok Sabha constituency on a Congress ticket.
1996: Avtar Singh Bhadana lost the election to BJP's Ramchandra Baida in Faridabad Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket.
1998: Avtar Singh Bhadana did not receive Congress ticket in the mid-term Lok Sabha elections.
1999: Congress fielded Avatar Singh Bhadana from the Meerut Lok Sabha constituency where he won.
2004: In the Lok Sabha elections, Bhadana won from the Faridabad constituency on a Congress ticket.
2009: Avtar Singh Bhadana won the elections for the second consecutive time from Faridabad.
2014: Avtar Bhadana lost the election at the hands of BJP's Krishan Pal Gurjar with over 4.67 lakh votes on a Congress ticket.
2014: Avtar Bhadana joined the Indian National Lok Dal ahead of the Haryana Assembly elections where he worked as star campaigner for the INLD.
2017: In Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Avatar Singh Bhadana won from Meerapur constituency on a BJP ticket.