Junagadh Municipal corporations (JMC) deputy mayor Girish Kotecha on Friday rubbished speculations of him joining the BJP.
Speculations had been rife in party circles about Kotecha switching over to the BJP,after senior Congress leader Narhari Amin did so on the eve of the 2012 Assembly elections. Kotecha was always considered to belong to the partys Narhari Amin faction.
After his meeting with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday,Kotecha clarified his position,stating: I spoke to him about factionalism within the party,which is responsible for the partys poor performance in the Assembly elections.
When questioned about his meet with Rahul,Kotecha said that he was invited to Delhi by Rahul after he met the latter at the partys recent public meeting at Rajkot. I told Rahul Gandhi that the right candidates were not fielded and that is why the party has been losing the Assembly polls one after the other, the Congress leader said.
Kotecha also claimed to have told Rahul that the party would have won at least 20 more Assembly seats had the right candidates been fielded.
Kotecha claimed to have told Rahul that while the Congress won all the four Assembly seats Veraval,Una,Tala and Manvadar in rural Junagadh,it always lost Junagadh the urban Assembly seat.
The party lost the Junagadh seat,despite the fact that Congress had always been in power when Junagadh was a municipality,and after it became a corporation. JMC used to be the only corporation in the state where Congress was in power.
Kotecha was one of the claimants for Assembly ticket from Junagadh,but Shahnaz Baby was fielded in the last Assembly polls,and she lost to Mahendra Mashru of BJP. Baby is reported to have been backed by senior party leader Shankersinh Vaghela.
Kotecha said he was ready to contest the 2014 LS polls from Junagadh if given a chance. Currently,the seat is held by BJPs Dinu Bhoga Solanki,who was arrested in connection with the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethava.
Speaking about a pamphlet distributed against him at a Sneh Milan,organised by the party on the occasion of new Samvat Year 2070,he told The Indian Express that Mayor Lakhabhai Parmar was behind the incident. He said that since his son was seen distributing them,it had to be him. The pamphlets described Kotecha as BJPs man in Congress and advised him to quit Congress and join BJP.
Although Parmar admitted his son distributed them,he said,My son was used by some BJP leaders. The pamphlet ends Bharat Mata ki Jai (Glory to Mother India),a phrase Congress never uses. It indicates a BJP conspiracy.