Gujarat MLA shares stage with BJP leaders, drops hints of quitting Cong

Congress party’s sitting MLA from Dhoraji Lalit Vasoya on Sunday joined a community meeting, in which he shared dais with BJP sitting MLA Jayesh Radadiya and BJP MP from Porbandar Ramesh Dhaduk.

As speculation grew that he may be jumping the ship, Vasoya remained noncommittal and said that he “was with the Congress party for life”.

Since the cross-voting in the Presidential elections, when Congress’ six MLAs voted for the NDA candidate, rumours have been spreading that the six MLAs will sooner or later join the BJP.

On the contrary, speaking to local media, Vasoya said, “I don’t want to state that I am with the Congress forever, if I give you such a quote or soundbite, you will use it against me as you did with Hardik Patel. The day I will make any decision will let everyone know.”

He said, “When a bride and groom marry they make promises to each other to live together for the rest of their lives, sometimes, they too get divorced for any reason.”

The community event that Vasoya attended on Sunday, he was the only Congress leader on the stage, rest all were BJP leaders. Even local Congress leaders were not present in the event, said a party source.

Four days ago, Congress’ Saurashtra zone Ramkishan Ojha had told the media in Rajkot, “Party’s 6 MLAs are in touch with the BJP, the ruling party is misusing power, threatening the Congress leaders and even luring them with big promises. Party will speak to these MLAs and try to convince them not to quit the party.”

Besides Vasoya, the other five MLAs, whose names are doing the rounds who are likely to quit the party before elections, Chirag Kalariya (Jamjodhpur constituency), Sanjay Solanki (Jambusar), Mahesh Patel (Palanpur) Harsad Ribadiya (Visavadar), and Bhavesh Katara from the Jhalod constituency.

Vasoya is from the Patidar community and was associated with the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and is said to be Hardik Patel’s close confidants. A few months ago the Congress appointed Vasoya as the party’s deputy whip.

Congress’ working president Lalit Kagathra is confident that Vasoya will not quit, but Vasoya’s activities and frequently attending functions where BJP state or local leaders are present, was sending different signals.

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