Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor will not be leaving the Congress to join the BJP, the leader has confirmed at a quite extraordinary Saturday press briefing.
While addressing the media following weeks of speculation regarding his alleged unhappiness, Thakor said that he had wanted to become a minister in the Vijay Rupani-led BJP government and would have left to seek this 'instant gratification', but upon speaking to the people he represents, he claims to have realised that he can't compromise on his integrity.
"I am representing people who don't have anything. We need a good government to work for them. It is my duty to work for their development", Thakor, the MLA from Radhanpur, said.
He made a big confession, claiming he had been offered a ministership in the Gujarat government and had been tempted: "I confess, I wanted to become a minister. I could have become a minister 6 months back."
However, he then talked through the thought-process that led him to resist the temptation: "I look at them (his constituents), and I weep. I am very emotional. I wanted to go to BJP and become a minister. I had the offer too. But when I asked my followers. They said they voted for me when I didn't have anything."
He concluded, "I was confused about going. But I am not confused anymore".
Alpesh Thakor's reassurance will be much welcomed by the Congress party, which is also, as per sources, working hard to induct Hardik Patel into the party fold and give him a ticket for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Thakor, Hardik Patel and Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani had campaigned extensively for the Congress in the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections, with the BJP accusing Rahul Gandhi of 'outsourcing' its leadership to them. While Hardik Patel didn't contest, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani did, the latter as an independent but with the tacit backing of the Congress which didn't field a candidate against him.