Vaghela's son joins BJP

Vaghela's son joins BJP

Mahendrasinh Vaghela, former Congress legislator from Bayad in Central Gujarat and son of a political heavyweight in the state Shankarsinh Vaghela, on Saturday, donned saffron robe by joining ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Mahendrasinh, who had won 2012 Assembly polls on a Congress ticket, had quit the party along with his father and 13 other legislators before Rajya Sabha elections that saw senior Congress man Ahmed Patel barely scrape through.

Mahendrasinh was expected to join the BJP before 2017 Assembly elections. However, he stayed away from contesting even Assembly polls as his father led a non-descript political outfit Jan Vikalp Morcha. The morcha contested over 105 seats but none of its candidates made it to 182-seat Gujarat Assembly.

However, the father later stated that though his son had the right to take his political decisions, he was “not happy” at the manner in which Mahendrasinh joined the BJP. “He (Mahendrasinh) may have been under pressure from the BJP to join. Through you, I am giving him a week’s time to call his supporters and seek their view on joining the BJP. If they refuse, he should immediately resign from the BJP,” Shankarsinh told media persons later in the evening. “If he does not do so, I will politically disown him.”

Talking about his political move going forward, Shankarsinh said that he would call his workers and decide his next political move. “I will try to become more active in politics before 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

Both, the BJP and the Congress, as part of their initiative to win on 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state during forthcoming Parliamentary polls of 2019 are poaching on each other’s leaders to strengthen their organization.

Last month, the BJP won over a Saurashtra OBC community stalwart Kunvarji Bavaliya with a Cabinet berth, while the Congress wooed back a friend of Bavaliya, Bhola Gohil, a former Jasdan legislator who had defected to the BJP last year.

The announcement of Vaghela’s son joining the BJP was made by the BJP state president Jitu Vaghani, ahead of a star-studded event on the outskirts of Gandhinagar, that was attended by the BJP national president Amit Shah, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his deputy Nitin Patel and several other senior national party leaders.

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