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Former BJP minister Nalin Bhatt joins BSP

Written by: Staff

Vadodara, Sep 11 (UNI) Former Gujarat BJP minister Nalin Bhatt today formally announced his decision to join the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) despite attempts by party dissidents to keep him in their fold.

Mr Bhatt will join the BSP, along with his supporters, mostly dissident BJP workers, on August 15 in the presence of party supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, who is scheduled to address a public rally here the next day.

Announcing this at a press conference here, Mr Bhatt said he had a meeting with Ms Mayawati and senior party leader Satish Chandra Mishra regarding the political scenario in Gujarat during his recent visit to Uttar Pradesh.

''My decision to join BSP is based on the fact that neither the autocratic Modi government nor the Congress is good for Gujarat. BSP can be an alternative to these two power hungry parties and can spring a surprise in the coming assembly elections as it happened in Andhra Pradesh,'' he said.

The former minister, who had remained loyal to Modi's arch rival and rebel group leader Keshubhai Patel, had resigned from the BJP after the state BJP leadership suspended him from the party in August last year, for organising a road-show in Vadodara protesting against what he called ''gross mismanagement'' in flood relief measures.

With Mr Bhatt making up his mind to join the BSP, the move by BJP rebels to set up a united front against Chief Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the assembly elections has suffered a jolt, particularly in central Gujarat. Mr Bhatt had recently launched an NGO named Dindayal Seva Sangharsh Samitee to carry on his anti-Modi campaign in the region.

Ms Mayawati, who is scheduled to arrive here on September 15 on a two-day visit to the state, would meet the press in the evening and address two public meetings at Vadodara and Gandhinagar the next day, BSP's Gujarat in-charge Rampal Singh, who was also present at the press conference, said.


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