In a massive setback to the Congress and Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat, Alpesh Thakor, who joined the party before the 2017 Assembly elections and won his assembly election contest has quit the party, just a day before the Lok Sabha elections begin.
In the resignation letter that Thakor made public on Wednesday evening, he said:
"Most of my life I have been doing social work and in politics my goal was to work for society and my ideology was to elevate my community. I have dreamt to lighten up the homes of those poor and socially backward, to fulfill those I am constantly working. For me, my Thakor Sena comes first. If I had the greed for a post, I and my Sena would not have joined Congress in their bad time, thus to take this decision is very unfortunate for us. My Thakor Sena has been disrespected, sidelined and all we have faced is betrayal. My Sena has ordered me to leave that place where you get disrespected, sidelined, and all you get is insult and deceit, so I resign from all post of the Congress party, and such a situation will arise, I had never imagined. With a lot of pain, I am resigning from all posts of Congress, please kindly accept it.
Only fell short of respect..respect..respect..for which I am pained. One thing we got always is...betrayal..betrayal..betrayal."
On Wednesday morning, talking to Republic TV, Thakor Sena chief Jagat Thakor confirmed on parting ways from the Congress party. On being asked the reason for the decision, he alleged that the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party has been unfair to the Thakor Sena amidst the election season. The Thakor Sena also stated that Alpesh Thakor has been given an ultimatum to decide between Congress and its front.
"Everytime the Congress party has been unfair to the Thakore Sena. No decision has been taken with our consent and we have also not been given due importance. Thakor Sena gives an ultimatum to Alpesh Thakor to make his stand clear if he is with us or Congress. It is upto him to decide on the decision. Thakor Sena core committee has taken the decision that we are withdrawing support from the Congress party. If he does not withdraw support from Congress then the core committee will decide in the matter," Jagat Thakor said while speaking in the matter.
Speaking to media shortly after tendering his resignation from the Congress, Thakor confirmed that he would be serving his MLA term and cleared speculation that he would be jumping ship to the BJP, stating that he wouldn't:
Sources had earlier informed that there had been a tussle between Alpesh Thakor and Hardik Patel, since the time Hardik joined the Congress party. The tussle was regarding the decision of Congress face particularly in Maharashtra and Bihar. Following the confirmation of Hardik Patel joining Congress, Alpesh had started holding his own position hostage in the Congress.
On April 6, two close aides of Alpesh Thakor - Swarupji Thakor, the state vice president of the Kshatriya Thakor Sena and Secretary Mukesh Thakor - filed their nominations as independent candidates to contest against Congress candidates in the ensuing polls.
Currently, Alpesh Thakor is an MLA from Gujarat's Radhanpur. Thakor founded the Kshatriya Thakor Sena in 2011. He gained prominence, leading many movements for the rights of the Thakor community in Gujarat.