Alpesh Thakor dispels speculations, says with the Congress only

Ahmedabad: Congress’ maverick OBC lawmaker Alpesh Thakor, who had been keeping the party on tenterhooks amid speculation that he was headed for the ruling BJP, cleared the air on Saturday saying that his concerns had been settled for now.

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Thakor’s announcement came as a respite for the Congress, which faced the twin shocks of two of its MLAs joining the Bharatiya Janata Party in a day on Friday, with one of them being rewarded by a cabinet berth in the Vijay Rupani government within 24 hours.

For nearly a fortnight, Thakor who had joined the Congress in the run up to the 2017 assembly elections, had been giving sleepless nights to the Congress leadership after his meetings with Chief Minister Rupani and Gujarat BJP president Jitubhai Vaghani.

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Addressing a press conference here, Thakor admitted that he was hankering for a minister’s post but decided against it later after meeting the Congress leadership. He met senior party leader Ahmed Patel in New Delhi on Friday to discuss his concerns. Former Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia was also present at the meeting.

“At one point of time, I did aspire to become a minister to be able to serve the community better but have now decided to take the path of struggle,” Thakor said.

“If I had to go to the BJP, I would have gone at least six months ago.”

Thakor also admitted he was unhappy with the way of functioning of some Congress leaders in the state, but this was now a matter of the past.

The Radhanpur MLA set to rest speculations that he wanted a Congress ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections and scoffed at questions that he was trying to accommodate his wife in his place while he becomes an MP.

“My wife will never enter politics,” Thakor said, adding that he would continue to fight for the rights of poor, unemployed, farmers, Dalits and Adivasis.

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