Alpesh Thakore refutes claim of him moving to BJP

Alpesh Thakore refutes claim of him moving to BJP

Rahul Gandhi with Alpesh Thakor. PTI file photo

Young OBC leader and legislator from Radhanpur in North Gujarat, Alpesh Thakore, on Monday quashed rumours of quitting Congress and joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“I don’t know who is spreading rumours at regular intervals but I want to state clearly that I am in Congress and shall remain in Congress,” Alpesh told reporters. “I had joined Congress after seeking opinion of over 20,000 followers and today I am entrusted with national responsibility within the party, including in Bihar,” he said.

Alpesh is one of the three young political leaders, who had emerged in last three years in the wake of the Patel quota stir. Alpesh had come out to lead the OBC community after Hardik led a movement for quotas for the Patel community in government jobs and educational institutions from within OBC quota. Alpesh had mobilised several OBC communities in the state against any move by the government to pacify Patels at the cost of OBCs. Alpesh later joined Congress and fought Assembly polls. He is said to have played a key role in protecting the OBC vote base of Congress in North Gujarat at least in two  dozen seats.

Of late, there have been rumours of Alpesh holding parleys with the BJP in the state. There has been a buzz in political circles that he would be accommodated in the government as a minister and that he may also vacate his constituency for Shankar Chaudhari, a dairy strongman and former health minister in Anandiben Patel government.

No politics 

“I never do politics of leaving my constituency for anyone. The question does not arise. And why should I leave my constituency for Chaudhari?” he said.

Alpesh was also in the news recently for raising a voice against his party's stand on the issue of raising salaries of legislators in the state from Rs 70,000 plus to over Rs 1.16 lakh per month. Alpesh had said that it was improper for Congress not to have raised its voice, especially at a time when citizens were suffering due to rising prices.

“I may speak in the heat of the moment, that may appear against party line but that is never my intent and if today I am clarifying it with my party president and leader of opposition in the Assembly sitting next to me, I request you to take my word seriously,” he said.

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