Congress puts brave front after losing two big names from Saurashtra

Gandhinagar: The Congress in Gujarat is trying to come to grips with the situation after losing another senior leader from Saurashtra, Kunwarji Bavalia, who joined the BJP and was sworn in as a cabinet minister on Tuesday. Some days back, it had lost another big name, Indranil Rajyaguru, who had resigned from Rajkot.

Kunwarji Bavaliya, the MLA from Jasdan Assembly constituency, formally joined the BJP on Tuesday at the party headquarters at Kamalam. Earlier he quit as a legislator and the Congress party.

This is a second jolt in a fortnight when the grand old party, which grabbed considerable seats in the Saurashtra region after many years, lost Rajkot leader Indranil Rajyaguru, who also quit the party from all positions.

Though Rajguru, who had lost out to Vijay Rupani during the Assembly elections last year, has not shown any inclination towards the BJP and said that he never will, the Jasdan MLA chose to join the ruling party. Sources said that it was the big position in the government that lured him to defect.

Reacting to the defecting, Leader of the Opposition Paresh Dhanani said: “The Congress gave him everything he wanted. There was no such real issue due to which a party loyalist having a long association would defect. But his hunger for power lured him to join the saffron party. It is all there for the public to see. Wait for the by-elections, people who voted him to power because of Congress will give a befitting reply.”

According to Dhanani, Bavaliya had some issues for which he met party leaders including Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The party had also assured him of clearing all the issues, if any.

Meanwhile, some Congressmen expressed their pleasure as they feel that those who were actually dishonest and disloyal to the party are leaving, effecting a cleansing of the party, just prior to the general elections.

Amit Chavda, the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President, said about Bavalia: “What did the Congress not give him? He fought and became an MLA four times, was given a chance to fight and win the Lok Sabha election, was made the working president prior to the Assembly elections. The Congress even gave his daughter and his sister ticket to contest. What more could a person ask for from the party? Yet he quit due to his lust for power.”

Meanwhile, there was a little bit to smile for the Congress as former legislator Bholabhai Patel, who had left the grand old party to join the BJP ahead of the 2017 election, on Tuesday rejoined the Congress.