Ahmedabad: Despite Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel's entry into Congress, the party is unable to take a sigh of relief. Thanks to the Bharatiya Janata Party that has been on a induction spree, bringing one rival member after the other into the saffron fold. After inducting four Gujarat legislators, the BJP has now headed to the constituency of state assembly's leader of opposition Paresh Dhanani.
Leuva Patel community leader Hanubhai Dhorajiya returned to BJP on Thursday. Dhorajiya was a BJP MLA from Lathi assembly seat in Amreli district. He had left the party after he was denied a ticket in 2014 assembly polls and joined Congress, following which he contested from Lathi on grand old party's ticket but lost to BJP's Bavku Undhad.
The Congress turncoat's seat falls under Amreli district, which is considered a stronghold of LoP Dhanani, who is also a close aide of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Like Dhorajiya, Dhanani also belongs to the numerically strong Leuva Patel community.
Fondly known as 'Bhabha' among his supporters, Dhorajiya is a native of Hathigadh village and lives in Surat. He is a businessman and known of his charitable work in nearby villages, providing free ration to needy and widows.
After returning to the BJP, the former legislator said that he has rejoined the saffron party to "strengthen Prime Minister Narendra Modi's position" in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The saffron party had lost the rural base in Amreli district during 2017 Assembly polls, which has made Dhorajiya's return even more crucial.
Given BJP's situation in the district, it has to use every trick to stop Congress from retaining Amreli Lok Sabha seat.
Out of the seven Assembly seats, BJP had won just two in the state polls, while Congress had won remaining five constituencies. In fact, former three-time BJP MLA Kanubhai Kalsaria, who had recently joined Congress, holds the Mahuva seat, which also falls under Amreli.
The rain-fed district of Amreli is predominantly rural and most of the people are dependent on agriculture. Dhorajiya's return is being seen as a significant move of the ruling party as it wants to reach out to each and every influential rural leader.
Since February 3, Congress MLAs Jawahar Chavda (Manavadar), Parshottam Sabariya (Dhrangdhra), Vallabh Dharaviya (Jamnagar Rural) and Ashaben Patel (Unjha) have switched to BJP. All of them belong to rural constituencies, especially the Saurashtra region.