Gujarat AAP MLA Bhupendra Bhayani resigns, says will soon join BJP

Speaking to reporters after tendering his resignation, Bhayani claimed the AAP was not the right platform to serve people.

Ahmedabad: In a jolt to the Aam Aadmi Party in Gujarat, its MLA Bhupendra Bhayani resigned as member of the state legislative assembly and primary membership of the party on Wednesday, claiming AAP was not the right platform to serve people.

After tendering his resignation as MLA, the leader who also goes by the name Bhupat Bhayani, told reporters that he has also resigned as a worker of the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP and will join the ruling BJP soon.

Bhayani, who represented Visavadar seat in Junagadh district, handed over his resignation to Gujarat assembly speaker Shankar Chaudhary in Gandhinagar in the morning, an official said.

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In his resignation letter, Bhayani said he is resigning as an MLA, but did not mention any reason in it behind the decision.

“The speaker has accepted Bhayani’s resignation,” Gujarat assembly secretary DM Patel said.

Bhayani was one of the five MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) elected in the last year’s state polls, which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won with a thumping majority by bagging 156 seats in the 182-member assembly.

It was the first time that AAP won in the assembly polls in Gujarat.

Speaking to reporters after tendering his resignation, Bhayani claimed the AAP was not the right platform to serve people.

“I am a nationalist person who believes in development and serving people. The Aam Aadmi Party was not the right platform to serve the people of my area. No nationalist can stay for long in the AAP,” he claimed.

“Moreover, I did not like to oppose Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is our pride and made India proud across the world,” said Bhayani, who served as the sarpanch of Bhesan village in Junagadh before joining AAP ahead of state polls last year.

“I will be joining the BJP soon because I originally belong to that party and worked for it for nearly 22 years before becoming the MLA. I will contest the bypoll if the central leadership wishes so. I was not under any pressure to quit (as claimed by AAP leaders),” he said.

Gujarat Aam Aadmi Party president Isudan Gadhvi claimed Bhayani was “tortured” and compelled by the BJP to resign as AAP MLA.

“The BJP has been trying to break AAP since the beginning. Soon after the polls last year, the ruling BJP contacted Bhayani and asked him to switch sides, claiming two other AAP MLAs are also ready and anti-defection law will not be applicable if three out of the five legislators switch over. When Bhayani declined, he was tortured and compelled to resign,” Gadhvi alleged.

Gujarat BJP’s media coordinator Yagnesh Dave refuted Gadhvi’s claims, saying the AAP leadership was levelling such allegations because they cannot keep their flock intact.

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