Ahead of the upcoming Gujarat polls scheduled to be held later this year, over 300 Muslims, including Congress workers from different villages of Gujarat’s Bharuch district, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday, The Indian Express reported. The mass induction took place at Bambusar village in Bharuch, a former Congress bastion, in the presence of BJP MLA Arunsinh Rana, BJP general secretary Digvijaysinh Chudasma, BJP minority wing leaders Salim Khan Pathan and Mustufa Khoda, among others.
The new members who have joined the BJP are from Bambuser, Valediya, Valej, Segwa, Kahan, Chiphon, Luvara, Janod Samrod, Kothi villages. There are five assembly seats in Bharuch district which are Vagra, Bharuch, Ankleshwar, Jhagadia, and Jambusar. None is represented by Muslims.
Meanwhile, Bharuch Congress president Parimalsinh Rana said that the party is trying to “figure out” the mass exodus of Congress workers joining the BJP.
“We have set up a team in the district Congress committee who will listen to the issues of the Congress workers and we will come up with some solutions,” Rana said.
Gulambhai Natha, who has been the sarpanch of Segwa village near Bambusar for the past 15 years, said that the workers decided to join the saffron party during the COVID-19 pandemic itself, as the party made all the arrangements during the pandemic in the village, which witnessed around 35 deaths due to the pandemic.
“The Congress leaders only visit our village to get votes. During COVID-19, they never spoke to us,” Natha had alleged.
The Congress has been receiving blow after blow with several veteran party leaders leaving the party, and some joining the BJP. Former Congress leader and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is the latest to formally join the BJP on Monday.
“We have seen the Congress for so many years and now it’s time to go to a party that is looking after the interests of the country and that is the BJP,” Singh said, slamming the Congress for neglecting “national security”.
Earlier, party veteran and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the Congress party alleging that it was run by a “coterie of inexperienced sychopants”.
Following Azad’s resignation, over 60 Congress leaders from Jammu and Kashmir too left the party.