Two retired babus, Mahila Congress leaders join BJP


R M Patel, additional chief secy in rural development dept, had taken voluntary retirement last week

Rajnikant M Patel, additional chief secretary in the Panchayats and Rural Development Department, joined the BJP on Sunday after taking voluntary retirement from service he had joined in 1977.

Along with Patel, Mahila Congress leaders Usha Patel and Harsha Parmar, and retired forest department official Jilubha Chavda — who happens to be the elder brother of former Congress MLA C J Chavda — joined the BJP.

Welcoming them, Gujarat BJP vice-president Kaushik Patel told reporters at Circuit House Annexe here that they all joined the party for service motive without expecting any post or election ticket.

Patel, who took voluntary retirement last week, said he joined the BJP as he was witness to Chief Minister Narendra Modi's work for the deprived people. He said Gujarat was fortunate to have a CM like Modi.

While Patel was allowed to reel out official figures of Garib Kalyan Melas and other welfare schemes, three others who also joined the ruling party did not speak.

Later, Chavda told reporters that he did not share ideology with his younger brother who is in the Congress and that he was active in politics since 1977 when he was a member of Jan Sangh with former MP Dr A K Patel.

Meanwhile, Patel joining the BJP did not surprise anyone in political circles as it was merely a question of "when" and not "if".

The BJP is expected to field him from the Asarwa assembly constituency where sitting MLA Pradeepsinh Jadeja will not be able to contest because of change in profile of the constituency from general to reserved category.

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