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Gujarat OBC leader Alpesh Thakore to join Congress
23 October 2017, 04:36 | Gordon Grant
File pic of Hardik Patel
The two leaders were part of Hardik Patel-led Patidar quota agitation and remained critical of the ruling BJP during the stir.
As the Gujarat election is gaining grip with the Anti-BJP mood post-GST and version 2.0 of Rahul Gandhi, OBC Ekta Manch leader Alpesh Thakor has given his support to the Congress party saying he is ready to join the grand old outfit on October 23. He was accompanied by Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot and Bharat Singh Solanki (Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee chief), reported Times of India. With the Election Commission taking its own time to announce Gujarat poll dates, the Prime Minister plans to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for a number of projects in Bhavnagar and Vadodara districts.
"Rahul Gandhi would be coming to our rally on Oct 23 and I will join the Congress party", Thakor, who has emerged as the OBC face in Gujarat, said in New Delhi after a meeting with Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi.
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Earlier Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki said at a presser that he was confident that his party would win at least 125 seats.
Congress managers claimed Hardik had agreed to lend tactical support to them without entering into a formal pact. Technically, Hardik Patel can not contest elections as he is underage. Responding to the offer, Hardik said: "Although I believe we must unite against the BJP, this is not a BJP-Congress election". I can not contest elections myself because of constitutional provisions, nor do I want.
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti has been protesting against the ruling BJP-led government with demands of reservation for Patidar community. If Hardik Patel manages to pull majority of the 13 per cent of the Patidar community and if Mr Thakor could bring along the majority of the dominant OBC community (nearly 40 per cent) and Mr Mevani could attract a majority of the seven per cent Dalits, the front would comfortably win.
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