A majority of the turncoats failed to win their seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, which saw the BJP sweeping to power for the second consecutive term.
The BJP and its alliance partners won 273 of the 403 Assembly seats while the Samajwadi Party-led coalition bagged 125 seats in the elections.
Of the 21 turncoats, only four managed to win the polls. Nine of the turncoats were fielded by the BJP and 10 by the Samajwadi Party (SP).
Prominent losers included former UP ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, who had joined the SP just ahead of the polls; and former Bareilly mayor Supriya Aron.
The winners among the turncoats were Aditi Singh (Rae Bareli), Anil Kumar Singh (Purwa) and Manish Kumar (Padrauna) - all three contested on the BJP ticket, and SP's Dara Singh Chauhan, who was a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government and contested from Ghosi.
Aditi Singh had quit the Congress and joined the BJP recently, contesting from the seat that falls in the parliamentary constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
However, Rakesh Singh, who had contested on the BJP ticket from Harchandpur in the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat, failed to win his seat.
Associate Professor at the CSDS, Sanjeer Alam, said instead of ideology, it is opportunism that is at play when such leaders switch sides.
He said, "It is not because of affiliation or liking for the ideology of a party. Today the word opportunism seems to have become dominant for people changing parties. This has to be seen at the macro- and micro-levels. At the macro-level, if a candidate feels that the conditions favour a particular party, then he or she may change sides."
"At the micro-level, it is electoral dynamics at the constituency level or to cover up the under performance. Ideology has nothing to do with it," Alam said.
Among the turncoats who had contested on the BJP ticket but lost are Rakesh Singh (Harchandpur), Naresh Saini (Behat), Bandana Singh (Sagri), Ramveer Upadhyay (Sadabad), Subhash Pasi (Saidpur) and Hari Om Yadav (Sirsaganj).
Those who contested on the SP ticket but lost included Brajesh Prajapati (Tindwari), Roshan Lal Verma (Tilhar), Bhagwati Sagar (Ghatampur), Digvijay Narayan (Khalilabad), Madhuri Verma (Nanpara) and Vinay Shankar Tripathi (Chillupar).
Haidar Ali Khan, who had joined the Apna Dal (Sonelal) after being declared as the Congress candidate from Swar, lost to Abdullah Azam of the SP by over 61,000 votes.
Surendra Singh, who had joined the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) after being denied a ticket by the BJP, came third and secured 28,615 votes. He had in the past courted controversies with his statements and had vowed to defeat the the party in the polls from Bairia after the denial of ticket to him.