Former Congress legislators Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala, who had quit apparently after voting against the party candidate in the by-polls for two Rajya Sabha seats earlier this month, joined the BJP in Gujarat this evening.
Alpesh Thakor and his close aide Dhavalsinh Zala joined the BJP in the presence of the party's Gujarat's president Jitu Vaghani in Gandhinagar.
Alpesh Thakor, 43, had emerged as a prominent Other Backwards Castes or OBC leader after the Patel quota agitation in Gujarat in 2015. He had formed the Thakor Sena, an outfit of his OBC Thakor caste.
Mr Thakor had resigned from all posts in the Congress in April just before the Lok Sabha elections in the state, where the BJP won all the 26 parliamentary seats for a second time in row. However, he had continued as a legislator.
After quitting as a Congress legislator earlier this month, Alpesh Thakor had said both Mr Zala and him were being "treated unfairly" ever since they joined the party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
"I joined because I trusted Rahul Gandhi, but unfortunately he couldn't do anything. I came to work for the poor and the destitute and I couldn't do any of it by being here since the past one-and-a-half-year," he had said.
Mr Zala, who was elected from Bayad in Sabarkantha district in the 2017 assembly polls, had said while quitting the Congress, "We were humiliated over and over again. The big leaders of the party would never listen to the small ones. Because of these reasons, I have resigned from my position."
With inputs from PTI