Vaghela loyalist goes back to BJP, gets ticket

The BJP on Wednesday declared Girish Parmar as its candidate for the SC-reserved Dani Limda seat hours after he quit the Congress and joined the ruling party.

Parmar, who was a minister in the Shankersinh Vaghela government and vice-of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, joined back the BJP after a gap of 14 years along with two former Congress councillors and some office-bearers of the Ahmedadabad city Congress unit.

Parmar, who was welcomed in the BJP by state unit vice-president Kaushik Patel, said he took the decision to quit the Congress with a "heavy heart and sadness" after unsuccessfully toiling there the rights of Dalits. "I have changed my disha (direction) to change dasha (condition) of Gujarat by rejoining the BJP. I did not want anything in that party but wanted justice for my Dalit society," he said, punning on the Congress slogan.

Parmar said he had not joined politics as he wanted power to serve the Dalits.

"I am also entitled to have my own ambitions and aspirations and for that I go by what Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar said: 'if you want to serve your community, you must assume power first'," he said.

Asked if he would continue his fight against the state government for the Thangadh firing episode, Parmar said his fight against injustice to Dalits would go on unhindered, be it Thangadh killings or any other incident.

On the immediate cause of quitting the Congress, he said the party had been dilly-dallying on the decision about Danilimda Assembly seat. "Danilimda is a reserved seat but they are deciding in favour of a person (Shailesh Parmar) who is not a Dalit. He (Shailesh) is a Marwadi Mochi of Rajasthan origin who are not recognised in Gujarat as Dalits. He has used fake certificate to usurp the rights and powers meant for Dalits," he said, adding, "We brought this matter to the notice of party leaders and that he is also facing court cases over this, but Congress leaders just would not listen..."

A loyalist of Vaghela, Parmar had joined the Congress when his rebel outfit Rashtriya Janata Party merged with the Congress.

Others joining the BJP are former councillor Samuben Nadia, Ahmedabad city Congress general secretary Vinod Parmar, city Youth Congress general secretary Bhavik Parmar, state women wing secretary Kamlaben Rathod, city Congress secretary Dinesh Chavda and city Congress general secretary Kanubhai Thakor.

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