Gujarat AAP women's wing leader jumps ship to Cong

Gujarat AAP women's wing leader jumps ship to Cong

In a jolt to the AAP in poll-bound Gujarat, Vandana Patel, president of the women's wing of the party, joined the Congress on Monday.

Vandana was welcomed into the party fold by state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki. Vandana and her supporters walked into the state party headquarters donning the signature AAP cap, which they took off as Solanki made them wear the Congress scarf.

Apart from the senior Patel leader, Rituraj Mehta, who fought the Lok Sabha election in 2014 against veteran BJP leader L K Advani on an AAP ticket, also joined the Congress on Monday.

A firebrand and ambitious politician, this is yet another switch for Vandana. She had earlier left the BJP and joined the AAP. Vandana had unsuccessfully fought the Parliamentary elections from Mehsana in North Gujarat in 2014; she had lost to the BJP candidate.

Vandana hit out at the AAP leadership, saying party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was unaware of the party's position in the state. "The AAP in Gujarat is working as a B-Team of the BJP," she said.

The AAP, for its part, claimed the Congress has weaned away its members by offering them posts and money. The party also released audio clips to support its claim, wherein Mehta has been quoted as saying that Solanki and other Congress leaders asked him to get AAP members on board in lieu of party positions.

The AAP, which has announced its first list of 11 candidates, plans to contest the Assembly election in Gujarat from selected constituencies.

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