“Because of outrage (aakrosh) against the BJP. It was the mandate (janadesh) of the people. We conducted public meetings and took people’s mandate. We said earlier that we would enter politics if they (BJP) did not improve. If I had joined the BJP, I would have been blamed, and asked how much I have been bought for. This is a fight against ideology, and against the BJP’s failure.” said OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, on joining Congress and politics, in an interview with The Indian Express. The OBC leader said that he was still meeting workers and was unable to take note of the situation until the candidates of North Gujarat were announced. Speaking to IE, on being asked about his take on the criticism from BJP, Alpesh Thakor said he wouldn’t have joined politics if the BJP-led Gujarat government brought any improvements in the state. He emphasised that because the BJP was unable to ‘improve or reform’ for the past two years that he has been forced to join politics to better the issues of farmer loan waiver, unemployment, addiction, the poor state of education.
Alpesh disagrees that there is any need to change policies and style of governance stating that the need to demand reservation rose when BJP failed to prove themselves and their policies weren’t bringing relief to the people of Gujarat. Commenting further, he said that Patidars are not demanding reservation in the 49 per cent (OBC quota) category but are asking reservation for the poor children of the upper caste. Alpesh said that he believes reservation should be implemented for poor children of the upper caste across the country other than being given to backward castes.
The leader during the interview refuted claims of contesting Gujarat elections from Chanasma and reiterated that he will contest from wherever his party leaders ask him to. On his ‘vyasan mukti abhiyan’, the leader said that despite prohibition there has been alcohol, drugs and tobacco addiction problem among the youth and around 10,000-15,000 youths die due to overdose every year. The leader pointed out that BJP in the last 22 years has done negligible development which is projected through the fact there is 60 lakh unemployed youth in the state. He said that each person of the state was agitated with BJP and the elections were a fight between Gujarat vs BJP and not BJP vs Congress.
Alpesh Thakor suggested that he feels that Rahul Gandhi’s fan following among the youth will have a positive impact on the elections. On the ongoing Padmavati debate, he admitted that the incumbent government has been making it a political issue but also pointed out that distorting history is damaging history.