In a shot in the arm for the Congress in Gujarat ahead of the assembly elections, as many as 500 full-time activists of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) here on Sunday joined the party expressing anguish over their two legislators switching loyalties to the ruling BJP during the recent Rajya Sabha elections.
NCP’s Gujarat spokesperson Manhar Patel, senior leader and former IPS official B.J. Gadhvi and two core committee members, besides various other state and district level functionaries joined the Congress here at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan.
The 500-plus NCP activists joined the state’s key opposition party in presence of its state President Bharatsinh Solanki and Congress General Secretary in charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot.
They expressed their commitment to the party stating in their brief speeches that going to Congress from the NCP was like a home-coming and Solanki, in response, said “it feels as if the younger brother has returned after long”.
The NCP members were angry over their two legislators, Jayant Patel ‘Boski’ and Kandhal Jadeja, voting for the BJP in the August 8 Rajya Sabha elections against Congress leader Ahmed Patel keeping everyone in the dark.
Manhar Patel asserted there was a larger secret truck between the BJP and NCP bosses Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel while the party’s rank and file was completely kept in the dark. The Congress and the NCP had contested the 2012 assembly election as coalition partners.
Among others who joined the Congress are core committee members Jeevanbhai Kabariya and Takhatsinh Solanki, Rajkot district president Lalitbhai Katodiya, Tarunbhai Gadhvi, Vijay Patel and Rajesh Patel.