Denied BJP ticket, Gujarat MLA Kesarisinh Solanki joins AAP

Denied a ticket by the BJP, Kesarisinh Solanki, the sitting MLA of Matar Assembly constituency in Gujarat’s Kheda district, joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday.

AAP state president Gopal Italia welcomed Solanki, who is an OBC leader, to the party and announced the same in a Twitter post. The AAP has, however, fielded Mahipatsinh Chauhan in the Matar seat.

Solanki was one of the 38 MLAs dropped when the BJP declared its list of 160 candidates on Thursday. The ticket for Matar was given to Kalpeshbhai Parmar.

Kesarisinh Solanki had fought the 2017 Assembly elections from Matar as a BJP candidate. He had won the seat by a margin of 2,406 votes (1.45%) against Congress candidate Sanjay Patel.

A two-time MLA, Solanki faces allegations of instigating the police to beat up four to five people accused in an incident of garba-related violence in Kheda district’s Undhela village on October 3. The accused in the case have alleged that Solanki arrived in Undhela during the violence and instructed the villagers to “set these people straight”.

The incident happened just two days after Solanki was acquitted by a sessions court in the Panchmahal district in a gambling case of July 2021. In May this year, a trial court had sentenced Solanki and 25 others, including seven women, for gambling following a police raid at a resort in Shivrajpur village.

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