Jolt to Congress, former MLA and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor joins BJP

FE Online
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Former Congress MLA and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor on Thursday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of Gujarat BJP President Jitu Vaghani. He had resigned from the grand old party in April. Soon after resigning, Thakor accused the then Congress president of doing nothing for him and other leaders who had joined the party.

However, it was reported that the OBC leader wanted to contest Lok Sabha polls from Patan constituency. However, the Congress fielded Geeta Patel, who is an associate of Patidar leader Hardik Patel, from Patan. Following this, Thakor decided to quit.

In a resignation letter posted on Facebook, Thakor said: "What I had always found wanting was respect…respect…respect. I am deeply saddened. The only thing I always got was betrayal, betrayal, betrayal."

Thakor, a prominent OBC leader, shot to fame after a series of agitations against the saffron party in 2015. He had joined the grand old party just ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls in 2017. Thakor had contested from Radhanpur seat and defeated BJP candidate Lavingji Thakor by 15,000 votes.

Thakor had also blamed the Congress state leadership for his resignation. In a press conference then, the OBC leader said: "I’m resigning because of the Gujarat Congress leaders, its high command and its state unit in-charge not treating us properly."

In the recent assembly elections held in 2017, Alpesh Thakor along with Hardik and Jignesh Mewani campaigned for the Congress and helped it put up a tough fight against the saffron party. The BJP managed to cross the majority mark but its number came down by 16 seats to 99 in 182-member House. The Congress had to settle with 77 seats. Thakor’s exit came as a big setback for the grand old party which was hoping to cement its position in the state in the upcoming polls.