Gujarat OBC leader Alpesh Thakore to join Congress
Gujarat OBC leader Alpesh Thakore to join Congress
Patidar community leader Hardik Patel. Courtesy ANI news
23 October, 2017, 04:36
Earlier this year, there were reports that Thakor might launch his own political outfit to contest the upcoming Gujarat polls. In other reports, Patidar leaders Reshma Patel and Varun Patel have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "Unlike the Congress, we have a string of well-entrenched community leaders across Gujarat". "Our agitation was about getting reservation under the OBC quota, not about uprooting the BJP and bringing the Congress to power".
The dramatic turn of events came hours after Hardik Patel declared his support for the Congress.
While Modi will inaugurate a slew of developmental projects before the model code of conduct kicks in, Rahul will undertake the third phase of his yatra during November 1-3, Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said. "PAAS workers and leaders are also angry with BJP".
"This agitation was not of Hardik Patel's alone".
Meanwhile, BJP also attempted to set its caste equation in order with two Patidar leaders, Varun Patel and Reshma Patel joining the party after meeting party chief Amit Shah. Patel won by a wafer thin margin.
"Rahul Gandhi will take part in our rally on October 23 and I will join the Congress", he told reporters. This will be Mr Modi's third visit to Gujarat in a month.
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The Congress also invited like-minded parties and leaders including Aam Aadmi Party and Chhotu Vasava, a tribal deader and JD (U) MLA. Mr Vasava had supported Congress in the Rajya Sabha elections held in August.
The Congress received a boost on Saturday ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls, with backward class leader Alpesh Thakor announcing his decision to join the party, after a meeting with Rahul Gandhi.
Jignesh Mewani, on the other hand, said, "I am determined to defeat the BJP not only in Gujarat in December 2017 but also in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019". Hardik Patel himself said, "I can not contest polls (He is 24 years old and the necessary age to contest elections is 25) and I will not contest". He said: "If Congress supports our issues, we will support the party to the hilt".
He said the Congress was open to Hardik Patel contesting elections in the future from its platform.
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti has been protesting against the ruling BJP-led government with demands of reservation for Patidar community.
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