Over 300 Muslims, including some Congress activists, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on September 21. Significantly, the Muslims belong to several villages in Gujarat’s Bharuch district, a constituency of late Ahmed Patel, the all too powerful congressman who had the ears of the Congress high command for several decades.
The induction is also significant in view of the impending Gujarat elections, which are expected to take place later this year.
The newly-admitted BJP members are from the villages of Bambuser, Valediya, Valej, Segwa, Kahan, Chiphon, Luvara, Janod Samrod, and Kothi. Bharuch district has five five assembly seats: Vagra, Bharuch, Ankleshwar, Jhagadia, and Jambusar, none represented by Muslims.
The workers had decided to join the BJP during the COVID-19 pandemic itself, as BJP made all the arrangements during the pandemic in the village, said Gulambhai Natha, sarpanch, Segwa village near Bambusar.
There were about 35 deaths as a result of the pandemic.
“The leaders of the Congress just came to our village to solicit votes. They never communicated with us during COVID-19” the sarpanch alleged.
BJP MLA Arunsinh Rana, BJP general secretary Digvijaysinh Chudasma, and leaders of the BJP minority branch, Salim Khan Pathan and Mustufa Khoda, welcomed the new lot to the party.
According to Parimalsinh Rana, Congress party leader, the organisation is trying to “find outr” why so many Congressmen are defecting to the BJP. He said “We have established a team in the district Congress committee who will hear the concerns of the Congress workers and we will present some remedies.”
As the Gujarat elections in 2022 approach, the Congress party is facing crisis, as the many from it’s fold defecting to BJP. Recently, on September 19, veteran Congress leader and Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh also joined the BJP.