THE LEGAL Department of the state government, through a resolution dated July 9, has appointed Senior Advocate Abhay Bhardwaj as a Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the Jayanti Bhanushali murder case. Bhardwaj, who is based in Rajkot, said that he received verbal communication from government authorities, but nothing official yet. This will be the fourth government assignment for Bhardwaj, who had also served as the defence lawyer in the post-Godhra riots Gulberg Society case in Ahmedabad. He is already serving as a SPP in the Sutrapada illegal mining case, involving former Congress MLA Bhaga Barad, and in the case of criminal breach of trust against retired IAS officer Pradip Sharma. He’s also the SPP of the case of the death of a girl student in a private university in Rajkot.
After much speculation when former Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalasinh Zala joined BJP at its headquarters Kamalam in Gandhinagar last Thursday, the venue was thronged by their supporters. Under pressure to exhibit a ‘show of strength’ to compare with his induction into Congress in 2017, Alpesh might have been successful to some extent, but a few supporters who reached Kamalam in buses from neighbouring districts, seemed ignorant about why they were present there. “We were asked to come, so we joined the others,” said a woman in her forties, who had come with four of her family members from a village in Daskroi taluka of Ahmedabad district. Alpesh’s stint at Congress kept him in the spotlight, but BJP didn’t react to his overtures even after he hinted loudly that he had voted against the Congress in the Rajya Sabha elections. The party finally inducted him just a few hours before working national president J P Nadda arrived on his first two-day visit to Gujarat on July 18.
More Members for BJP
After singer Kinjal Dave, at least three more people from the Gujarati entertainment industry joined the BJP on Wednesday, as a part of its membership drive, Sanghatan Parv. These include Aishwarya Majmudar, a young singer who won a music reality show in 2007-’08 when she was 15 years old; Arvind Vegda of ‘Bhai-Bhai’ fame and actor Saurabh Rajyaguru. In a similar drive in 2015, famous Gujarati folk singer Farida Mir had joined the party.