Former MLA Gohel back in Congress after brief stint in BJP

Ahmedabad: Former Gujarat Congress MLA Bholabhai Gohel, who had joined the ruling BJP after the Rajya Sabha polls in August last year, today rejoined the main opposition party. Gohel was re-inducted into the party by Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda and Leader of Opposition in the assembly Paresh Dhanani at a function held at state party headquarter here.

He represented the Jasdan seat in Rajkot district in the assembly from 2012 to 2017.

Incidentally, Gohel switched sides just hours after sitting Congress MLA from Jasdan, Kunvarji Bavaliya, quit the party and also the assembly seat, and joined the BJP. Commenting on Gohel’s return to the Congress, Chavda said many other BJP leaders would walk on the same path ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“Gohel had not accepted any major responsibility in the BJP after joining the party (a year back). He re-joined the Congress as he wanted to come back to the party fold,” Chavda told reporters. As Bavaliya has resigned as the MLA and set to become a minister in the BJP government, it is believed Gohel would be fielded by the Congress against Bavaliya in the bypoll for the Jasdan seat.

Gohel was among the eight Gujarat Congress MLAs who had voted against Ahmed Patel, their party’s candidate in the Rajya Sabha poll from Gujarat in August last year. He later resigned as legislator.

Despite cross-voting by some Congress MLAs in favour of BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput, Patel had won the poll. Though Gohel joined the BJP after the RS polls, he was not given ticket from Jasdan for the December 2017 Assembly polls in which Bavaliya had defeated BJP candidate Bharat Boghara from the seat.

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