Former Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala join BJPhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/former-congress-mla-obc-leader-alpesh-thakor-joins-bjp-5836300/

Former Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala join BJP

Thakor, who resigned from the party in April, accused the then Congress president and state leaders of not 'treating him properly' and doing nothing for him and others party leaders.

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OBC leader Alpesh Thakor in Ahmedabad. (Express photo: Javed Raja/File)

FORMER Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala joined Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) Thursday in the presence of state president Jitu Vaghani at party’s state headquarters Kamalam in Gandhinagar.

With Thakor supporters who had gathered at Kamalam from nearby districts all the speculations came to an end as Alpesh who was representing Radhanpur constituency in Patan district and Dhavalsinh Bayad in Aravalli district in the state assembly joined the ruling party.

On July 15, the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena’s core committee announced that Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala will soon join Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).

On July 6, Alpesh along with Dhavalsinh resigned from the State Legislative Assembly soon after casting their votes against the whip issued to them by the party in the Rajya Sabha by-election for two seats in Gujarat.

Drawing a parallel between Congress and a ‘weak school’, Alpesh Thakor said that he got distracted by the ‘beautiful building of the school’ but has returned to ‘an intellectual gurukul’.

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“When our child is studying in a school and fails to get good results. There are many reasons for it including the school being responsible as it fails to provide good education as well as the teachers not teaching properly. So, in that case, we put him in a good school ‘gurukul’,” Alpesh said while addressing the media at Kamalam.

Not stopping at that, he added, “The school I was in, its teachers were very weak. They themselves failed to understand the mindest of people and leaving a weak teachers’ school I have come to a vidvan pandit gurukul and in this gurukul I and all those associated with me will get a good learning.”

“Many times we get distracted seeing a beautiful building but how the are teachers we get to know only when we go there to study. This is why I have done ‘ghar wapsi’ and come to gurukul,” he said when asked if he has erred in selecting the school despite his father being in the same school (Congress). His father was a Congress leader.

Citing reasons for changing the political party he said, “The entire country has faith and trust in the leadership that will take Gujarat and the country to new heights the leadership of Narendrabhai (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and Amitbhai (Union Home Minister Amit Shah). The leadership we all are aware of and impressed with. The circumstance that led to this is the ideology of working for poor and common man, its implementation and will to work on it which I realised Congress party lacks. There is only greed and personal interests but nothing else. The party that cannot trust new workers.”

In my case the poor common people for whom it should be done towards development education and employment for it it is important to have support of the ruling government.

Talking about BJP, he said that it is a cadre-based party where even the smallest of the person is being heard.”It is a disciplined party that can take forward the ideology of nationalism. I am grateful to its national and state leadership who have heard poor and common people’s voices with the feeling to develop bring this society at par. The party has given a normal youth coming from a backward society and all those associated with him an opportunity to work for the party.”

When asked about the absence of BJP national leader during his induction in BJP as compared to his joining Congress on October 23, 2017 in the presence of party’s president Rahul Gandhi in Gandhinagar, he said, “This is parivar bhavna but after welcoming where there is no parivar bhavna but only selfish relationships then no relationship stays for long. They (BJP) have welcomed me with a parivar bhavna and I give them more importance as the party is to take the nation forward with the ideology if nationalism.”

When asked the same from Jitu Vaghani that what was the hurry for the induction Thursday when the working party national president J P Nadda is on a two-day visit to Gujarat Friday, he said, “I welcome them (Zala and Thakor), leaders from Thakor and Baxipanch society. It will benefit the Baxipanch society, their issues are solved and this society becomes prosperous. The society (OBC) from which PM comes who is always worried about the poor, coming up with schemes for them. We have many leaders from this society like Natuji, Bhavsingh, Lavingji, Jugalji, Dilipji Thakor and with them Alpesh and Dhavalsinh too has joined BJP.”

Referring to the issue of migrants issue of 2018, Alpesh claimed it was all a conspiracy against him when his son was hospitalised. “I have said at that time too that we were not involved in it. It is not our ideology. We believe Gujarat is for everyone and we have not acted on any anti-human activity. The ideology is not mine I work for people and I was not responsible in any of these incidents,” he said.

In September-October 2018, Alpesh shot himself in the foot when his Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena was being criticised and alleged for leading the attacks on migrants from Northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh after rape of a 14- month old toddler in a Himmatnagar village, Sabarkantha district. His instigating speeches that went viral at that time was said to be allegedly behind these attacks that spread across Gujarat. The ruling government (BJP) too had warned action against him if these allegations are found to be correct.

On if BJP is still willing to take action against him, Jitu Vaghani said, “Alpesh has already given an explanation at that time. BJP welcome all people in Gujarat. We are responsible for their safety, they come here for jobs and employment. As they join BJP today this directly means that they have left Congress ideology behind and joined BJP’s nationalism ideology.”

On the possibility of his contesting from Radhanpur constituency again, he said that the decision will be taken by BJP’s parliamentary board.

“The party will decide whether to give me a ticket or not. Whatever decision the parliamentary board will take will follow it. Even if it does not give me a ticket even then I will abide by all their orders,” he said.

On his de-addiction movement that Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena founded by him in 2011 has been aggressively campaigning against he said that it is a social awareness and social cause because of which the society that was affected with this, 80 per cent of its youth are de-addicted and pursuing education. “And I am grateful to the Rupani (Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani) government that merely after a fast of ten hours, stricter law was brought it,” he added.

Alpesh Thakor started a movement against illegal trading of liquor in Gujarat in 2014. The organisation was set up with a social cause of de-addiction which later and slowly expanded to other causes like unemployment, education of underprivileged and recently into malnourishment both among women and children.

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The organisation that had carried out rallies in Northern, Central and Saurashtra districts of Gujarat against de-addiction got intensified around the Patidar agitation led by Hardik Patel in the year 2015 with Thakor setting up another organisation with a wider base of communities clubbed as OBC, SC and ST under the banner of OBCSCST Ekta Manch in an attempt to project itself as a parallel organisation of OBC community.