Amin joins BJP, gets a pat from Modi


Former deputy chief minister and top Congress leader Narhari Amin on Thursday joined BJP along with several Congress office-bearers in the presence of Chief Minister Narendra Modi at the party's state unit headquarters in Khanpur area.

Among other prominent faces who joined BJP today was Congress spokesperson Jayanti Parmar, who quit the party after Congress gave the ticket for Dani Limda, a seat reserved for SC candidates, to Shailesh Parmar.

Welcoming Amin and others, Modi reminded the audience that it was on "December 6, the death anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar" and said it was unfortunate that the Dalit icon had always suffered and struggled for his entire life in Congress. "Congress gave Bharat Ratna first to Rajiv Gandhi and then to Ambedkar," Modi said. Praising Amin and his colleagues for this "bold decision", the CM said such decisions were not easy to take but required "great inner conviction and commitment".

Amin, who has been president of the Gujarat Cricket Association, said Modi was bound to score a hat-trick. He promised Modi he would ensure Congress tally of seats would be reduced to less than 32 and said Congress workers should begin working for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

He said he had consulted "thousands of party colleagues" before joining hands with Modi.

Later, addressing the press, Amin said he left Congress not because he was denied a party ticket, but because of "scams" in distribution of tickets and "insults and injustices heaped on them".

State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia said, "As long as he was in our party, he was one of our leaders. Now that he has gone, he has gone alone."

Parmar said at least 60 Dalits from Congress had joined BJP along with Amin.

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