Operation Lotus Blooms in Gujarat, Four Congress MLAs Join BJP
Ahmedabad: Hours before the Congress Working Committee (CWC) met here in Ahmedabad, a rumour about Congress legislator Santok Aarethiya from Rapar (Kutch) resigning spread like wildfire. The legislator, however, disregarded the news immediately and termed it as BJP’s poll gimmick, accusing the saffron party of spreading rumours.
However, the way in which the BJP has launched its ‘Operation Lotus’ and started poaching Congress MLAs, people seldom have reasons to disbelieve such rumours.
As many as four Congress legislators – Jawahar Chavda, Parshottam Sabariya, Vallabh Dharaviya and Ashaben Patel – have resigned from the grand old party and joined the BJP in the past month, suggesting that Operation Lotus is headed to retain all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat.
In fact, Manavadar Congress MLA and Ahir strongman Chavda was inducted into the Vijay Rupani cabinet hours after he joined the BJP on March 8 this year. Chavda is a four-time MLA from Manavadar constituency and a prominent leader of the Ahir community. He had resigned as MLA as well as from the Congress and joined the BJP.
Congress MLA from Dhrangdhra assembly constituency Sabariya joined the BJP on Monday as did Dharaviya – Congress MLA from Jamnagar Rural.
In the first week of February, Congress MLA from Unjha in Mehsana district had resigned and joined the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s native Vadnagar falls in Unja Assembly Constituency. In the 2017 assembly polls, Congress candidate Asha Patel had won this seat.
“The BJP does not want to take any chance in these crucial polls and it plans to retain all the 26 Lok Sabha seats which it had won in 2014 general elections. Another math is that if BJP loses some seats in UP and other states, its tally should not be reduced in Modi and Amit Shah’s home turf’’ a senior BJP leader said on grounds of anonymity.
Patidar leader Hardik Patel will join the Congress party during its CWC meet on Tuesday. The meeting is being held in Gujarat after a gap of 58 years – it was last held in the state in Bhavnagar in 1961.