Is OBC leader Alpesh Thakor feeling uncomfortable in BJP?

Gandhinagar, May 12 (IANS) OBC leader and former MLA Alpesh Thakor's recent statements can't be ignored. If read between the lines, it seems that Thakor is unhappy in the Bharatiya Janata Party.
 
Is OBC leader Alpesh Thakor feeling uncomfortable in BJP?

Gandhinagar, May 12 (IANS) OBC leader and former MLA Alpesh Thakor's recent statements can't be ignored. If read between the lines, it seems that Thakor is unhappy in the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Recently while attending a mass-marriage function organised by the Gujarat Thakor Sena, Alpesh Thakor said, "I am going to contest the Radhanpur Assembly seat (Patan district). If any one tries to oust me, I will ensure that those leaders too don't get chance to contest the elections."

His remarks were directed at former MLA and BJP leader Lavingji Thakor, who is a contender for the seat in the run-up to the Assembly elections scheduled at the end of this year.

Alpesh Thakor also said, "The state government has failed to strictly implement prohibition."

Playing down the controversy, Alpesh Thakor told IANS that some party leaders are playing dirty politics and instead of uniting the Koli Thakor community, they are dividing it.

His statements were message to such leaders, and he has no intention of quitting the party, Alpesh Thakor said.

Alpesh Thakor had won from Radhanpur in 2017 on Congress ticket. In 2019, he quit the Congress and joined the BJP. He had contested bypolls from Radhanpur in October 2019, but lost to Congress' Raghubhai Desai.

Refuting Alpesh Thakor, Lavingji Thakor claimed that if there was any substance in what the former said, people would not have elected him as an Independent MLA from Radhanpur in 1995. He also claimed that he is a local leader, whereas Alpesh Takor is a native of Ahmedabad district.

After 1995, Lavingji Thakor contested from Radhanpur thrice, once each on the ticket of All India Rashtriya Janata Party, Congress and BJP, but lost on all three occasions.

In fact, Radhanpur is a curious constituency. Barring Congress' Khodidan Zula (1975, 1980 and 1985) and Shankar Chaudhary of the BJP (1998, 2002, 2007), no other leader has ever got re-elected from this seat.

Even veteran leader and former Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, who won the bypolls here in 1997, never contested from Radhanpur again.

For the last few months, there were rumours that the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena is searching for a safe seat for Alpesh Thakor, who though claims that the outfit launched by him has presence in 176 talukas.

"Gujarat Thakor Sena has around 9,200 committees, and at least 50 families in each village with whom I have direct contact. So the question does not arise of looking for a safe seat," he said.

The OBC leader has also claimed that he is not just leader of Thakors or the OBC community, but members of other communities as well.

"Under my leadership, Patidars have formed the Patidar Sena in 76 villages of Karamsad Taluka, while Patels from Saurashtra also attend my public meetings in large numbers," he claimed.

There is no doubt that Alpesh Thakor can influence voters from his community and change the results where Thakors are in dominance, feels Suresh Vanol, senior journalist from Mehsana district.

Vanol said the party did not call Alpesh Thakor to campaign for one seat in Satlasana Taluka panchayat elections which it lost. Even in Gandhinagar municipal elections, the BJP had asked Alpesh Thakor to campaign at last moment.

According to Vanol's assessment, Alpesh Thakor may change constituency and contest either from Becharaji or Kheralu in Mehsana district.

--IANS

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