Former BJP minister and ex-MLA join Congress

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Ahmedabad, Jan 21 (IANS) The Congress in Gujarat received a shot in the arm here on Monday with a former BJP minister and a legislator joining the party, months ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections.

Former minister Bimal Shah and former legislator from Bardoli in South Gujarat Anil Patel joined the Congress at the party headquarters in presence of senior leader Ahmed Patel and state unit president Amit Chavda.

After joining, Bimal Shah told reporters that competent leaders were being marginalised in the BJP and an atmosphere of frustration prevailed all over.

“When I joined the BJP, it was a party with a mission and now it has become a party of power mongers, he asserted.

Bimal Shah said it was a man of organisation and joined the Congress as such to make efforts to ensure the opposition party’s victory in maximum of the 26 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP had won all the 26 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha when the then chief minister Narendra Modi became the prime minister.

But during the 2017 Assembly elections, the Congress won as many as 77 seats while the BJP managed 99 seats, just seven seats more than the magical number of 92 in the 182-member assembly. The BJP’s tally reached 100 recently after minister Kunwarji Bavalia won in Jasdan in a by-election.

The former BJP leader wondered over a large number of party leaders and workers keeping quiet. “Party workers are silent. But I decided that I had to make a beginning,” Shah asserted.

Ahmed Patel, senior leader and political adviser of Sonia Gandhi, meanwhile assured Shah and Patel that they would be treated in the same way as the good old Congressmen.



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