Former Congress leader Harshad Ribadiya, who recently stepped down as a legislator, joined the BJP along with his supporters in the presence of party general secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela at the party’s state headquarters in Gandhinagar Thursday.
Ribadiya said he has joined the BJP because the ruling party resolved all the issues (related to farmers) that he had raised in the state assembly. “We will work as soldiers of the BJP from now,” he said.
On being asked about his statement in the past of being offered Rs 40 crore to quit the Congress during the 2017 Rajya Sabha elections, Ribadiya said he never said that the BJP had offered him the money. “When (the late) Ahmedbhai (Patel) was contesting the Rajya Sabha elections, (one of) my (then) party’s leaders had sent his people asking me to quit (the party). No one from the BJP has ever offered me anything,” he said. However, when asked to name the leader, Ribadiya said the person was “no more among us” and it was inappropriate to name him now.
He added that while speculations were doing the rounds for long about him joining the BJP, it was only two days back that his supporters asked him to join the “journey of development” following which he decided to make the switch.
Complaining about the Congress, Ribadiya also alleged that whenever they were fighting against anti-social elements, nobody from the party came forward to help them.
When asked if he has been promised a BJP ticket in the upcoming assembly elections, Vaghela said any worker can claim a ticket from the party and similarly, Ribadiya also has a right to claim one.
Ribadiya, who was elected from the Visavadar seat of Junagadh district on a Congress ticket in the 2017 assembly elections, had resigned from the post and from the party Tuesday.