AAP inducts prominent businessman in Surat

AAP inducts prominent businessman in Surat

The businessman Mahesh Savani, a diamond merchant turned realtor, is known for social work

Delhi Dy CM Manish Sisodia. Credit: PTI File Photo

A prominent businessman and philanthropist from Patidar community on Sunday joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the presence of Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister and party leader Manish Sisodia in Surat, a stronghold of the ruling BJP.

The businessman Mahesh Savani, a diamond merchant turned realtor, is known for social work including organising mass weddings of orphaned girls.

Sources said that Savani was close to BJP until the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but later distanced himself after he was denied a ticket.

"I want to serve people and do positive politics for the betterment of people. I have seen the governments here and in Delhi. I saw the government-run schools, hospitals and people-oriented works by the current Delhi government and decided to join AAP," Savani said in a press conference, sitting beside Sisodia.  

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Surat, also known as "diamond city", is the first place in the state where AAP tasted its first electoral success by winning 27 seats, out of 120, in Surat Municipal Corporation. The Delhi-based party overthrew Congress and placed itself as the principal opposition party in the civic body.

Given the fact that AAP is trying to expand its base in Gujarat ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls, Savani's arrival in the party is said to be crucial in order to attract more people from the business community as well as Patidars. Savani is originally from Bhavnagar in Saurashtra region where consolidation of votes can make or break any party.

While welcoming Savani, Sisodia said he is expecting many more prominent personalities including BJP leaders to join the party in the near future.

Targeting the ruling BJP, he said, "In Gujarat development model, where do you see government-run schools, hospitals, farmers and employment for the youth? This has to change now."

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