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Gujarat: Former BJP minister Bimal Shah, ex-MLA Anil Patel join Congress

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Former Gujarat Minister and BJP leader Bimal Shah joined the opposition Congress here on Monday, saying that the ruling BJP had become a "power-oriented party".
 
Along with him, another BJP leader Anil Patel, a former Congress MLA who had joined the ruling party after the 2007 polls, also returned to the Congress.
 
They were formally inducted into the party at a function at its state headquarters here in the presence of Congress Treasurer Ahmed Patel and Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Amit Chavda, among others.
 
The induction of the two leaders is being seen as a boost of sorts for the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress had failed to win a single seat in Gujarat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
Shah was elected to the Gujarat Legislative Assembly from Kapadvanj in Kheda district in 1998 and again in 2002. He had served as Minister of State for Transport in 1998 under then Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel. Shah lost the 2007 Assembly elections. In 2017, he contested as an independent candidate and again failed to make the grade.
 
Shah said he and many others had joined the BJP because they felt it was a "mission-oriented party".
 
"But now, it has become merely a power-oriented party. I will work to ensure Congress victory in the coming Lok Sabha elections," he said.
 
Anil Patel had been elected to the Gujarat Assembly in 2002 from the Bardoli constituency in South Gujarat as a Congress candidate.
 
"It is a homecoming for me as I originally belong to Congress," he said, adding that he had never felt "comfortable" during his eight-year stay in the BJP. "That is why I have decided to come back to the Congress," he added.
 
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(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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