Cong wants to repeat ‘Alpesh Thakor moment’ in Gujarat by-polls

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New Delhi/Ahmedabad, Oct 26 (IANS) The Congress had defeated rebel Alpesh Thakor in the by-polls in October last year and wants to repeat the feat against the defectors in the upcoming by-elections for 8 Gujarat Assembly seats. Thakor had defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and had contested the Radhanpur seat on a saffron party ticket.
Alpesh Thakor was once close to Rahul Gandhi but left the party alleging that he was not being given due importance. He was defeated by the Congress’s Raghu Desai. Thakor had won the Radhanpur seat in the 2017 Gujarat election on a Congress ticket. However, after differences with the party Thakor, along with his close aide Dhavalsinh Jhala, had joined the BJP.
Congress leader Arjun Modwadia who is campaigning for the party said, “the party is raising the issues of corruption, unemployment, law and order and mishandling of the Covid pandemic” in the state.
Now the Congress is trying to repeat its performance in the by-polls for 8 Assembly seats, necessitated due to the resignation of Congress MLAs who left in the run up to the Rajya Sabha polls which led to the defeat of Congress candidate Bharat Singh Solanki.
Congress in-charge of the state Rajiv Satav said, “the public is going to teach them a lesson. When the whole world is in a crisis both the BJP and the rebels indulged in horse trading.”
The Congress has fielded Mohan Solanki (Gadhada), Kiritsinh Jadeja (Karjan), Suryakant Gavit (Dang), Babubhai Patel (Kaprada), Shantilal Sendhani (Abdasa), Chetan Khachar (Limbdi), Jayantilal Patel (Morbi) and Suresh Kotadiya (Dhari), in the by-polls.
The BJP has fielded five Congress rebels out of the eight who defected to the party — J.V. Kakadia from Dhari, Akshay Patel from Karajan, Pradhyumansinh Jadeja from Abdasa, Brijesh Merja from Morbi and Jitu Chaudhary from the tribal-reserved seat Kaprada.
From Dangs, the BJP has fielded its ex-legislator Vijay Patel in place of Congress defector Mangal Gavit, and from SC-reserved Gadhada, former Minister Atmaram Parmar has been fielded in place of former Congress leader Pravin Maru. While the BJP has claimed that it is going to win all the seats, the Congress state leadership is not leaving any stone unturned for a win.
There are 172 members at present in the 182-member Gujarat House, of which 103 are from the BJP, 65 from the Congress, two from the Bharatiya Tribal Party, one from the NCP and one Independent member.

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