In a setback to the Congress, its North Gujarat legislator Asha Patel on Friday joined the BJP less than a week after quitting as MLA and the party.
A first-time MLA, 40-year-old Asha Patel emerged a giant killer in the 2017 State Assembly elections defeating a veteran BJP leader and five-time legislator Narayan Lallu Patel, 80, from the Unjha constituency in Mehsana district.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home town Vadnagar falls in this constituency.
She joined the BJP at a function in Patan town in North Gujarat along with 15 corporators from the district. State BJP President Jitubhai Vaghani welcomed her with a saffron scarf.
Patel had resigned on Saturday expressing her displeasure with the Congress stating that state leadership ignored her aspirations and there was no coordination between the elected wing and the party organization.
In a letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, she criticised Gandhi's leadership while praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his government's move of providing 10 per cent reservation to the poor in the general category, including her caste of Patidars (Patels).
Asha Patel told reporters after quitting that she felt "suffocated and insulted" in Congress as it entirely ignored the issues she had raised.
"My respect was never maintained in the Congress and the public issues I raised were never listened. Rahul Gandhi may be a good person, but he and others down the chain of command failed to understand the people's sentiments," she said.
A PhD, Patel is a good orator and would often put the ruling BJP on the mat during assembly sessions, especially on issues of women and education.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)