Bauku Unghad, another Congress heavyweight, is all set to come back to the BJP fold. The only successful BJP rebel, after leading a fierce anti-Narendra Modi campaign in the last two Assembly elections, is the second Congress strongman, after Vitthal Radadiya, to abandon Congress before the Lok Sabha elections to be held later this year.
“I have not taken any decision yet. The BJP has opened its doors for me,’’ Unghad told the media. Unghad, a Leuva Patel, was one of the five MLAs and MPs, all of them from the same community, who decided to go it alone in the run-up to the 2007 Assembly elections.
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While his companions, including Sunil Oza, Dr Vallabh Kathiria, Bechar Bhadani and Bhavna Chikhalia, did not make much progress and returned to the BJP in due course, Unghad was the only one to retain his seat in Lathi constituency in Amreli district in 2007 and 2012.His win in 2012 is more commendable as top Congress leaders in Saurashtra, including state unit chief Arjun Modhwadia and former Congress Legislative Party leader, Shaktisinh Gohil, had to bite the dust.
Unghad, along with Radadiya, were the only saving grace for the Congress. While Radadiya, rejoined BJP in January last year, after leaving it in 1998 along with his son Jayesh, an MLA, Unghad has taken his time to make a re-entry. His re-joining the BJP is considered to be just a matter of time after.
“Unghad has been considering joining the BJP and is likely to do so in a day or two,” said a BJP leader close to Unghad.