Former BJP MLA Shamji Chauhan joins Congress in Gujarat, claims party failed to do justice to OBC community

Ahmedabad: Former BJP MLA Shamji Chauhan and ex-mayor of Rajkot Ashok Dangar joined the Congress on Tuesday, claiming "injustice" is being meted out to Other Backward Classes (OBC) communities under the BJP rule in Gujarat.

 Former BJP MLA Shamji Chauhan joins Congress in Gujarat, claims party failed to do justice to OBC community

Representational image. Reuters

They were inducted into the Congress by state unit chief Amit Chavda and AICC in-charge of the Gujarat Congress Rajiv Satav at a function at party headquarters. Both hail from OBC communities. Chauhan belongs to the politically influential Koli community, while Dangar, who was the Rajkot mayor from 2000 and 2003 - when the Congress was ruling the civic body - hails from the Ahir community. Dangar later joined the BJP, from where he resigned on Tuesday.

Chauhan was elected from the Chotila assembly seat in Surendrangar district in 2012 on a BJP ticket. He resigned from the BJP in November last year after being denied ticket from the same seat for the Assembly polls held in December. In 2016, he was appointed Parliamentary secretary by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

On the other hand, it was a homecoming for Dangar, who had joined the BJP in 2012 after quitting the Congress. He resigned from the BJP on Tuesday.

According to Chavda, both the OBC leaders have joined the Congress without any pre-condition. "Both these OBC leaders have realised that promises made by the BJP governments, in Gujarat as well at the Centre, have not been fulfilled. The poor has become more poor under the BJP rule. Both these leaders are joining the Congress to fight injustice against OBCs and the poor," said Chavda.

Echoing similar views, Satav said the Narendra Modi government has not paid any attention to the problems being faced by the OBCs across the country. According to Chauhan, the Koli community has been "ignored" by the BJP government in Gujarat. "The Kolis are the second largest community in Gujarat after the Patidars. Yet, very few Koli MLAs have been given key posts in the government. Koli MLAs are not allowed to become even district or taluka presidents of the party. I am joining the Congress because of the BJP's failure to do justice to the community," said Chauhan.

The former MLA maintained he has not joined the Congress out of any expectation of getting a ticket for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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Updated Date: Aug 14, 2018 17:39:47 IST