Guj Polls: Hardik Patel's key aides join BJP

File pic of Hardik Patel

In a significant boost to Congress in Gujarat ahead of the December assembly polls, Alpesh Thakor has chose to join the party.

Patidar leader Hardik Patel today said that his party will support Congress if it supports their causes. The EC had however indicated that the polls in the state where the Congress has been out of power for 22 years will be held before December 18. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will be in Gujarat on October 23 where Mr Thakor is expected to join the party. However, Patel on Saturday turned down the Congress' invitation to fight the Gujarat Assembly election jointly, saying the polls were not a BJP-Congress fight. With the Election Commission taking its own time to announce Gujarat poll dates, the Prime Minister plans to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for a number of projects in Bhavnagar and Vadodara districts. Thakore met Gandhi at the latter's residence this evening and was accompanied by Congress general secretary in-charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot and state unit chief Bharatsinh Solanki.

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti has been protesting against the ruling BJP-led government with demands of reservation for Patidar community.

Earlier in the day, Solanki held a press conference in Ahmedabad where he said the Congress party has invited the three top leaders of different communities to join the party to ensure the defeat of the BJP.

However, having said that, it is also clear that Congress is acquiring great support from the OBC community and the Dalit.

The two MLAs of NCP, which so far has contested assembly elections in the state in alliance with the Congress, had voted for the BJP in the August RS elections. I can not contest elections myself because of constitutional provisions, nor do I want.

Congress, however, has not stopped at that since it has also invited like-minded parties and leaders including Aam Aadmi Party and Chhotu Vasava, a tribal deader and JD (U) MLA. A couple of months ago, PAAS leader Hardik Patel had called upon people to vote for the Congress. She added that they had not been fighting for the victory of the Congress party.

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