Ex-Congress MLA joins BJP ahead of bypolls in Gujarat

Mavji Patel, former Congress MLA from Gujarat

Days ahead of the by-elections in half a dozen assembly seats in Gujarat, former Congress MLA Mavji Patel on Thursday joined the ruling BJP, claiming he was feeling "ignored" in the opposition party.

In 1990, Mavji Patel had won from the Tharad assembly seat in Banaskantha district, which is one of the six constituencies going to polls on October 21.

The 68-year-old former legislator unsuccessfully contested the 2012 assembly polls from the seat and lost to BJP candidate Parbat Patel, who resigned as the MLA of Tharad after getting elected to the Lok Sabha in May.

Mavji Patel was reportedly unhappy ever since he was denied ticket by the Congress from Tharad in the 2017 polls.

Mavji Patel joined the BJP at a poll rally in Tharad town in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

Rupani was in Tharad to address an election rally in support of the BJP candidate for the by-poll Jivraj Patel.

Ahead of joining the BJP, Mavji Patel said he can do a lot of things for the people of Tharad by joining the ruling party.

"I was feeling ignored in Congress. I was not given due respect. Instead of sitting at home and do nothing, I can do many things for my people by joining the BJP as the party is in power.

"My priority will be to make Tharad a separate district and bring industrial estate in this region," Mavji Patel told reporters. 

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