Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Wednesday "warned" Congress leaders and MLAs for asking him to defect to the opposition party with 15 BJP legislators to become the Chief Minister.
Mr Patel asked Congress leaders to refrain from spreading misinformation and said that he will remain with the BJP till his last breath.
His reaction came minutes after Congress MLA Bharatji Thakor, before the commencement of Assembly session on Wednesday, told the media that Patel can become the chief minister with the Congress's support if he switches sides with 15 BJP MLAs.
"I heard Thakor saying the Congress is ready to make me CM if I leave the BJP with 15 MLAs. I want to tell them that I am with the BJP since the days of the Jan Sangh and no enticement can shake my integrity.
"From an elected member of municipality, the BJP made me the Deputy Chief Minister. The BJP is in my blood and in my heart. I was born in the BJP and I will die in the BJP," Mr Patel said.
Earlier on March 2, another Congress MLA, Virji Thummar, had also asked Patel to join the Congress with 15 MLAs to become the chief minister.
Mr Patel said such offers are not new for him as he was asked to be a part of former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela's Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP) and its government during the political coup of 1997.
"At that time, too, I was given offers to leave the BJP and join the RJP and its government. Many BJP leaders and MLAs from Mehsana had then joined the RJP.
"But, I had decided to stay with the BJP despite getting many lucrative offers. People in the Congress do not know me well. I am a man of values. I will never switch sides for power," the 64-year-old BJP leader said.
"I was with the Jan Sangh and then with the BJP since 1974. I am warning all Congress leaders to refrain from spreading misinformation about me.
"I warn them not to take my name again. You are not aware about my integrity and commitment," Mr Patel said.