After Congress MLA Bavuku Undhad joined the BJP and former BJP MLA Dr Kanubhai Kalsaria the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP), well-known activist Laljibhai Desai, who has been fighting for the land rights of farmers for over two decades, is all set to join the Congress on February 15.
Desai, whose Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (JAAG) played a pivotal role in mobilising the farmers from 44 villages in Ahmedabad, Surendranagar and Mehsana districts to force the government to exempt 36 villages from the proposed Mandal-Becaharji Special Investment Region (MBSIR) last year, will take out a rally of 10,000 farmers from Sabarmati Ashram to state Congress headquarters on the day he joins the party. Desai hails from Mera village in Becharaji taluka of Surendranagar district.
Asked why did he decide to join Congress and not the BJP and AAP, he said: “I had the opportunity to interact with the people of all political shades in over two decades of my social work. But I found that Congress is more transparent, more pro-poor and pro-marginalised and committed to fighting corruption than other existing political outfits in the state and that is why I decided to join it,” said 46-year-old Desai, who met Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Arjun Modhwadia on Monday.
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“Congress is the only party having the potential and commitment to fight the divisive ideology and religion-based politics. Only Congress is following the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Babasaheb Ambedkar,” he claimed. As for corruption, he said: “All parties are talking of fighting against corruption. But it is the Congress which has shown the courage to send even its own ministers behind bars in its crusade against corruption.”
“One of the ministers in the (Narendra) Modi cabinet was punished by a district court last year in a case of corruption, but he is still continuing on his post.
Besides, there are many others in the state government facing trial for corruption and murder cases, but the state government is not taking any action against them,” he stated.