After Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala and Bengal, now it is Haryana's turn to see political defection just ahead of the general elections. Former Congress MP Arvind Sharma joined the BJP on Friday. While it is still not clear if Sharma will fight from his stronghold Karnal, sources say he will play a considerable role in election.

 Anupriya Patel's Apna Dal also sealed a deal with the BJP and promised to fight the 2019 general election as an NDA partner. While Patel will fight from Mirzapur, the second seat will be decided at a later stage. Patel has been upset for quite some time and even went on record to express her disaffection. But faced with little options, Anupriya Patel reached out to BJP and sources say, BJP reciprocated this time around. 

Sharma was welcomed to the party by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and BJP's Haryana in-charge Anil Jain. Prior to joining the party, he had a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah.

Sources say, if not Karnal, Sharma can be allotted Sonepat or Rohtak, both Jat dominated areas. 

But for those who have been following Haryana BJP closely, Sharma joining the party did not come as a surprise. The growing proximity between the former Congress MP and BJP was visible since 2017. In May that year, he shared the dais with the education minister Ram Bilas Sharma. The minister was also seen travelling in the same car as Arvind Sharma. Feelers were also sent out by Sharma while he praised chief minister Khattar, earlier in an event to mark Parshuram Jayanti.

This is not the first time Sharma has jumped ship. Sharma had quit the Congress to join Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) during the 2014 Assembly elections in the state. Though he was projected as the chief minister candidate by Mayawati, the party had won only one seat.

This joining comes a day after Tom Vadakkan, close aid to UPA chief Sonia Gandhi,  joined BJP. There are already speculations that Vadakkan may be contesting from Thrissur. Earlier on March 12, Sujay Vikhe Patil, son of the leader of opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, joined the BJP in the presence of Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai. So far, in Gujarat, at least five lawmakers from Congress have joined the BJP bandwagon.