GANDHINAGAR: Former BJP MLA from Chotila, Shamji Chauhan, and ex-mayor of Rajkot, Ashok Dangar, joined the Congress party on Tuesday. They were inducted into the Congress by state unit chief Amit Chavda and AICC in-charge of the Congress at a function held at the party headquarters here.
Both the leaders are from the OBC communities. While Chauhan belongs to the politically influential Koli community, Dangar, who was the Rajkot mayor from 2000 to 2003, is from the Ahir community.
Chauhan was elected from the Chotila assembly seat in Surendrangar district in 2012 on a BJP ticket. He resigned from the BJP in November last year after being denied ticket from the same seat for the assembly polls held in December. In 2016, he was appointed parliamentary secretary by chief minister Vijay Rupani.
On the other hand, it was a homecoming for Dangar, who had joined the BJP in 2012 after quitting the Congress.
According to Chavda, both the OBC leaders have joined the Congress without any pre-condition. “Both these OBC leaders have realised that promises made by the BJP governments, in Gujarat as well at the Centre, have not been fulfilled.” he said.
After joining the Congress, Chauhan said that the BJP doesn’t want the real development of people. “In my area, health, education, employment are the major concerns but the BJP is merely paying the lip service.”
Dangar alleged that Rajkot, the constituency of the chief minister, is struggling for water. “I tried hard to raise this issue but was not allowed by the BJP so I decided to join the Congress again,” said Dangar.
Both the BJP and the Congress have been trying to woo the disgruntled leaders of the rival party to its side.
On Tuesday, Congress leaders from Banaskantha, Balkrishna Jirala, Haresh Vyas, Pravin Patel and several others joined the BJP in the presence of senior BJP leader K C Patel at the state BJP headquarters “Kamalam”.
“I decided to join the BJP because of the infighting in the Congress. I want to support PM Modi and BJP national president who have been providing great leadership to the country,” said Jirala.
Recently, a senior OBC leader from Congress, Kuvarji Bavaliya, had joined the BJP. According to sources, three sitting Congress MLAs from North Gujarat may join the BJP by . Similarly, the Congress is expecting return of some leaders who had joined the saffron party recently but currently feeling sidelined there.
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