Amid speculations over him joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doing the rounds in Gujarat’s political circles, MLA from Radhanpur Alpesh Thakor met Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel Monday at the latter’s office in Gandhinagar along with Bayad MLA Dhavalsinh Thakor.
Refuting the rumours, however, Alpesh claimed he had met Nitin Patel to make a representation of issues such as education plaguing his constituency. The meeting, that went on for almost an hour, has once again left many to conclude that both Alpesh and Dhavalsinh are set to join BJP very soon. Congress has demanded that he be disqualified since he resigned from the party.
Gujarat BJP spokesperson Prashant Vala too maintained the same. “Yes he along with Dhavalsinh has met Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel today but that meeting was to discuss problems of his constituency.”
Alpesh Thakor is said to have played a key role in the victory of BJP candidates from constituencies like Banaskantha and Patan where he is believed to be behind making independent candidates to contest elections on these seats and rallying behind them in order to cut through Congress votes.
Just before the Lok Sabha elections, after keeping everyone guessing for more than a month, Alpesh on April 10 along with two of his supporters – Bayad MLA Dhavalsinh Thakor and Becharaji MLA Bharatji Thakor – resigned from the Indian National Congress (INC).
Though he made it clear that none of them had resigned as MLA but only from Congress party and all the positions held in the party. Alpesh, the president of OBC SC/ST Ekta Manch and Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena was also appointed as AICC secretary for Bihar.
Following his resignation from Congress, after the voting for the general election was over in the state, a delegation of Gujarat Congress legislators led by the Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani met Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi in May to seek Alpesh’s disqualification. The delegation submitted before the Speaker that since Alpesh had resigned from the party he ceases to be even legislator of the house since he was elected on the party’s symbol.
Alpesh who had joined Congress just before 2017 assembly polls had maintained his stand that since he has been elected by the people he cannot be disqualified as an MLA.