With Gujarat assembly elections 2017 around the corner, the political activity in the state is at its peak. In a latest development, Patidar leaders Reshma Patel and Varun Patel on Saturday met Amit Shah at BJP office in Ahmedabad. And, both of them have joined BJP. This development is seen as a blow to Hardik Patel. Both Reshma and Varun were reportedly very close to Hardik Patel.
Earlier in the day Bharat Solanki, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president said, “If Hardik Patel wants to contest the election, then Congress invites him to do so,” as per ANI. Hardik Patel, who led an agitation for the inclusion of the Patidar caste in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category, on the other hand, showed his disinterest in contesting the elections. He said, “Constitutionally speaking, I can’t contest the election and I don’t need to, in the first place.” He further said the upcoming state poll is not just about BJP and Congress, but about the six crores people of Gujarat.
Meanwhile, Alpesh Thakore, a leader of OBC Ekta Manch, has announced that he will join Congress on October 23. Alpesh made this announcement after meeting Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. “Rahul Gandhi would be coming to our rally on Oct 23 and I will join the Congress party,” Alpesh Thakore, OBC Ekta Manch leader, said.
As per a PTI report, the Congress also hinted at forging a pre-poll alliance with Sharad Pawar-led NCP and bringing on board Chhotu Vasava, the lone JD(U) MLA from the state. Alpesh also informed that the party is extending its offer to two NCP MLAs as well. “We also invite Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani to join hands with the Congress. I also invite Chhotu Vasava, who helped us in the Rajya Sabha polls, to support the Congress,” he said.
Patidar leader Hardik Patel had recently asserted that he was determined to work for the defeat of the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat. “I am not working for the victory of the opposition Congress, but am committed to the legitimate rights of my community,” Patel said at a conclave of India TV in Ahmedabad.