Lucknow: In what could be termed a jolt for the Congress in Rahul Gandhi`s constituency of Amethi, a number of party workers in the district, including the panchayat chairman, on Monday joined Samajwadi Party.
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 state Cabinet minister Rajendra Chowdhury and Amethi MLA and minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati.
The move came on a day when Gandhi was in his constituency to lay the foundation stone for a mega food park.
Chowdhury said that with the new members joining SP today, the party would be strengthened in Amethi and adjoining areas.
Asked whether SP would field its candidate in Amethi to take on Gandhi 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 was 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.