Dakshaben Bhesaniya, BJP corporator, and some of her supporters joined Congress in the presence of its working president Hardik Patel and other party leaders on Thursday. The BJP, however, said that Bhesaniya’s position in the party had become untenable due to her ‘anti-party’ activities.
Bhesaniya, the BJP corporator from Ward No. 5 of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), accepted Congress scarf from Hardik at a media event organised in Nagar Boarding on Tagore Road of the city on Thursday. Bhesaniya said that she was joining Congress unconditionally.
Besides the BJP corporator, former president of Rajkot Agricultural Produce Market Committee Commission Agents Association president Atul Kamani and a host of workers of BJP’s students wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad also joined the Congress. Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) vice-president Hemang Vasavada, Congress’ Rajkot city unit president Ashok Dangar were present at the ceremony where Bhesaniya was inducted into the party.
The corporator said that she was quitting the BJP as she was being neglected by the party. “Credit would be given to someone else for development work done from local area development grant allotted to me as a corporator. Afterwards, works suggested by me in my election ward were not executed at all. Fed up of all this, I had tendered my resignation but the BJP leaders persuaded me to withdraw it assuring me that my status would be respected and that work suggested by me would be carried out. However, nothing actually changed on the ground,” Bhesaniya (64), who is serving her first time as the corporator of RMC, said.
Addressing the media, Hardik claimed a section of local BJP leaders in Rajkot were not happy with the functioning of the party and that five other BJP corporators would defect to Congress in coming days. “Today, a lot of BJP leaders in Rajkot are miffed with their party. I congratulate Dakshaben for her move. In coming days, five other BJP corporators are going to join Congress…,” said Hardik.
The defection by the BJP corporator comes in the run up to the general election to the RMC due in December. “Last time, we missed forming the board (of RMC) by just two seats. But this time, I have no doubt that with the support of people and hard work of our workers and leaders, we shall win the civic body election,” said the Patidar quota-stir-leader-turned politician.
Bhesaniya, incidentally, is a Patidar.
However, the BJP downplayed Bhesaniya’s desertion though conceded that any loss of a worker is a loss. “…Dakshaben’s position in the party had become untenable as she and her husband Arvind Bhesaniya had been constantly engaging in anti-party activities. She had even staged the dram of resigning from the party some time ago and the party had given her more chances. However, they continued their anti-party activities and therefore she was informed that the BJP no longer needed her. Now that elections are round the corner, she has joined Congress in a bid to get a ticket to contest election again,” Kamlesh Mirani, president of BJP’s Rajkot city unit said.
When asked why Congress welcomed a BJP turncoat in the party fold, Vasavada said: “…I do agree that changing political parties is not good for democracy. But there are many people who left the party (Congress) after winning elections (and joined the BJP),” said Vasavada.