Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP may gain control of a taluka (tehsil) panchayat in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as eight rebel BJP members today said they wanted to join it.
Savli taluka panchayat, with a total of 17 members, was controlled by BJP, which had 10 members. Congress has six members and one member is an independent.
However, eight members of the ruling party today tender resignations, formed a group and seized power with the support of independent member.
The eight rebel BJP members said they were willing to join AAP, which recently came to power in Delhi by winning an unprecedented 67 out of 70 seats.
“We are in touch with AAP party leadership about our intentions of joining the party in the presence of Arvind Kejriwal at a time suitable to him. We want to organise a big rally of our supporters who will cross over from BJP to AAP in his presence,” said Jayesh Bakrola, the leader of the group.
If the cross-over takes place, the group will gift AAP power in a local body in Gujarat for the first time, without fighting an election.
Savli taluka panchayat comes under Vadodara parliamentary constituency from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had contested Lok Sabha election. (He later resigned and retained Varanasi seat.)
State BJP president R C Faldu had served suspension notice to these eight members for breaching the party whip in taluka panchayat president and vice-president elections.
“We sent our reply in the form of resignations today,” Bakrol said. Other members of the group are Dhirendrasinh Rathod, Vilasben Rana, Bhavnaben Solanki, Kailashben Solanki, Sureshbhai Vasava, Thakorbhai Parmar and Yashwantbhai Bhaliya.