Ahmedabad, Dec 6: Heavyweight Congress leader in Gujarat Narhari Amin, who quit the party after being denied a ticket to contest the upcoming assembly polls, joined the BJP on Thursday, Dec 6. He met the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, along with 500 supporters.
Amin, who has a significant base in the Patel community, will be a welcome guest in the BJP because the latter is facing a strong challenge from the Keshubhai Patel-led Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) in the Saurashtra region. The recent anti-Keshubhai remark by BJP politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has annoyed the Leuva Patels in the state and BJP is desperately trying to minimise the damage.
Amin resigned from the party on Tuesday along with six supporters. One of his supporters Hitesh Patel said another 175 supporters of Amin resigned from the primary membership of the party.
Amin, a former Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, was not given nomination on the ground that he had lost two successive electoral battles in 2002 and 2007. The veteran leader, who is also a former president of the Gujarat Cricket Association, however, had held a show of strength by organising meeting of his supporters on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. He attacked the Congress high command and the Pradesh Congress Committee for overlooking "worthy" candidates for the crucial elections. Amin's meeting was attended by senior Congress leaders of the state.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Shukla had met Amin on Saturday to address his unhappiness and rumours spread that the latter was being offered either a position in the Board of Control for Cricket in India or a Rajya Sabha berth.
Welcoming Amin and his supporters in the BJP, Modi said it would strengthen democracy and be a step towards ending the dynastic politics of the Congress. He also mentioned about Dr BR Ambedkar on his 56th death anniversary which was on Thursday, saying the great man was always put in discomfort by the Congress but still he could not be removed from the hearts of millions of oppressed Indians.