Gandhinagar, July 18 : Fidgety former Congress legislator and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor along with another rebel MLA Dhavalsinh Jhala eventually donned the saffron scarf at the BJP headquarters here on Thursday amid cheering crowds of the Thakor community.
“I’ve quit the school (Congress) with poor teachers and got myself admitted to a ‘Gurukul’ having scholars. Sometimes we get misled by lavish furnishings and good looks of a school building, but later realise there is little to learn there,” Thakor told reporters.
During the press briefing itself, Thakor and his aide Dhavalsinh Jhala were welcomed in the BJP by state President Jitu Vaghani with saffron scarves.
The induction of both the Congress turncoats was turned into a big fanfare by the BJP as thousands from the Thakor community gathered at the BJP headquarters here.
Both the former legislators had tendered their resignations as MLAs to Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi on July 5 after casting their vote in favour of the BJP’s Rajya Sabha nominees, S. Jaishankar and Jugal Kishore Thakor, who were contesting the two seats left vacant by Union ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani.
“Everybody knows about the infighting in the Congress. But I continued in the hope that one day they will reform. But all they are interested is in attaining power. There is no ideology in Congress. Whereas, the BJP is a cadre based, disciplined party propagating nationalism,” Thakor said.
He even alleged that instead of working constructively, the Congress had a “destructive” agenda. “I was shocked that one national (Congress) leader had said that in order to make the agitation against NDA government’s ‘Bharatmala’ project more effective, it was necessary to make it aggressive,” he said.
“Relationships do not nurture where there is no warmth and affection. BJP is like a family where I experience these sentiments. Under the BJP, we’ll shortly have a ‘Maha Sammelan’ for the Thakor community,” the OBC leader said.
Thakor and Jhala had resigned from the Congress on April 10 in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections claiming that they had been “insulted” and “deceived” by the party leaders, but they did not quit as MLAs.
“As an individual I was never insulted personally in the party, they wouldn’t dare. But my community members were insulted time and again. And their insult was my insult,” he added.
Thakor had joined the Congress during the December 2017 state Assembly elections and won from Radhanpur seat in North Gujarat on a party ticket, along with Jhala from Bayad in Aravalli district.
Among several other things, Thakor was made Secretary in-charge of Bihar affairs of the party along with senior leader Shaktisinh Gohil, also from Gujarat.