Jawaharbhai Chavda, former Congress legislator from Gujarat’s Manavadar constituency, has formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. The development comes hours after he resigned from the state Assembly. Jawaharbhai Chavda, commonly known as Jawahar Chavda, tendered his resignation to Speaker Assembly Rajendra Trivedi earlier in the day.
Chavda, son of Congress veteran Pethalji Chavda of Junagadh district, won from Manavadar in four consecutive elections and this has been a Congress fort. He won the 2017 Assembly polls defeating Nitinkumar Valjibhai Fadadu of BJP. He won the election in 2012 with 72,879 votes defeating Ratibhai Gordhanbhai Sureja of BJP by 4,402 votes.
Gujarat: Congress MLA Jawahar Chavda who had submitted resignation to the assembly speaker earlier today, joins BJP in Gandhinagar pic.twitter.com/I7UEZaBQm8— ANI (@ANI) March 8, 2019
The development assumes significance as sources say that Gujarat Congress MLA Alpesh Thakore is likely to join the BJP. He will also directly get a ministerial berth, the sources added. However, the OBC leader and Congress legislator from Radhanpur in north Gujarat, denied rumours that he was preparing to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Earlier in September 2018, Thakore had rubbished all rumours stating that he was going join the BJP. "I don't know who is spreading these canards at regular intervals but I want to state clearly that I am in the Congress and shall remain in the Congress," Thakore told reporters, flanked by state Congress president Amit Chavda and Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani. He had asserted: "I had joined the Congress after seeking the opinion of over 20,000 followers and today I am entrusted with national responsibility in the party, including in Bihar." There had been rumours of Thakore negotiating with the ruling BJP and that he might be accommodated as a Minister in the Vijay Rupani government. Political circles have also been speculating that he may vacate his constituency for former Minister Shankar Chaudhary.
Thakore had courted controversy for raising his voice against the Congress and supporting the BJP govermnent's move to raise salaries for legislators in the state from Rs 70,000-plus to over Rs 1.16 lakh per month.