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Big setback for AAP: 1 of 5 elected MLAs in Gujarat mulling switch to BJP days after polls

Big setback for AAP: 1 of 5 elected MLAs in Gujarat mulling switch to BJP days after polls

Not even a week after the results of the Assembly Elections in Gujarat were declared, one of the MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) may already jump ship. While the poster boys of the AAP — from chief ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi to state president Gopal Italia — lost the elections, five lesser-known faces came out victorious, one of whom was Bhupat Bhayani. 

Formerly a member of the BJP, Bhayani had cited ‘being ignored by the party’ as a reason to switch to AAP. Fighting from Visavadar, a seat in the Junagadh district, Bhayani got 65,675 votes, against BJP’s Harshadkumar Madhavjibhai and Congress’ Karshanbhai Naranbhai Vadadoriya who bagged 58,771 and 16,781 votes, respectively.

AAP MLA to join BJP

In Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar, Bhayani addressing media queries on Sunday gave a clear hint that a switch from AAP to BJP was on the cards. Bhayani said that he was congratulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state BJP chief CR Paatil after his election to the State Assembly, and went on to highlight how he grew as a political leader in the BJP under the leadership of PM Modi. 

He said that he would take a decision on switching to BJP from AAP after meeting the people of his constituency, Visavadar, and consulting his family, friends, and supporters. Bhayani’s joining would lift the BJP tally in the State Assembly to 157 from 156 out of a total of 182. 

Besides Bhayani, AAP’s Chaitar Vasava won from the Dediapada assembly constituency, Hemant Khava won from Jamjodhpur, Umesh Makawana won from Botad and Sudhir Vaghani won from the Gariadhar. Reportedly, all four are in contact with the saffron party.

Bhupendra Patel stakes claim to form govt, oath ceremony on Dec 12 

Meanwhile, Gujarat caretaker Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on December 10 met Governor Acharya Devvrat and staked a claim to form a government after he was elected as the leader of the BJP legislative party, two days after the party won a record mandate in the state election. Patel will be sworn in as the 18th chief minister at a function at the Helipad ground near the new secretariat in Gandhinagar on December 12.

Image: PTI

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