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OBC Ekta Manch Leader Alpesh Thakor to Join Congress on Oct 23
23 October 2017, 04:37 | Lionel James
Amit Dave Reuters
He further said if Congress makes it stand clear on three issues reservation for Patidars, farm loan waiver and jobs for youth then they will support them.
After joining the BJP, the Patidar leaders alleged that Hardik Patel had become a "Congress agent" and was trying to use the agitation to overthrow the present state government.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel, who recently won a hard-fought battle for a Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, party general secretary in-charge of the state Ashok Gehlot, Congress state unit chief Bharatsinh Solanki were among leaders who attended the crucial meeting. Reshma and Varun Patel both have reportedly accused the Patidar's leader of becoming a Congress agent. After meeting Gandhi, Thakore said, "Rahul Gandhi would be coming to our rally on October 23 and I will join the Congress party".
On Saturday, Mr Solanki also told media that the Congress party invited Alpesh Thakor, Hardik Patel and Dalit agitation leader Jignesh Mevani to contest the assembly polls from the Congress party.
The Congress also invited like-minded parties and leaders including Aam Aadmi Party and Chhotu Vasava, a tribal deader and JD (U) MLA.
"Our agitation will continue even if the Congress comes to power if our demands are not met", he said, adding that he had maintained this several times. The minimum age required for a person to contest an Assembly or Lok Sabha election in is 25. "I appeal to Hardik to support the Congress during the polls. We do not want to be part of such malicious conspiracy", Reshma Patel said. I can not contest elections myself because of constitutional provisions, nor do I want. The Patidar community leader said that it was time for a BJP-mukt Gujarat. If Hardik Patel manages to pull majority of the 13 per cent of the Patidar community and if Mr Thakor could bring along the majority of the dominant OBC community (nearly 40 per cent) and Mr Mevani could attract a majority of the seven per cent Dalits, the front would comfortably win.
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