Gujarat: AAP MLA Bhayani denies talk of joining BJP, but hails PM Modi

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Newly-elected Aam Aadmi Party MLA Bhupat Bhayani on Sunday denied speculation he would join the BJP in Gujarat but said he was proud of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Bhayani won from the Visavadar constituency in the recently-held Assembly polls by beating BJP’s Harshad Ribadiya. The AAP had won five seats in the 182-member House.

“I am not at all unhappy with AAP and I have not taken any decision about joining the BJP as of now. I will decide only after meeting my workers and people. As of now, I am with AAP,” Bhayani told reporters in Gandhinagar ahead of the swearing-in of the BJP government scheduled for Monday.

The BJP won a landslide mandate in the polls by winning 156 seats in the Gujarat Assembly.

Hailing the PM, Bhayani said, “I emerged as a leader in BJP during Narendra Modi’s tenure as the chief minister in Gujarat. As a committed BJP worker (in the past) and as a Gujarati, it was a matter of great pride for me when Modiji become PM in 2014. I am still proud of our PM.” Bhayani hinted he may have to support BJP in the future to resolve several key issues of his constituency.

“I respect the people’s mandate given to BJP. To solve key issues of my region, such as water for irrigation, I may have to take support from the BJP,” said Bhayani.

Meanwhile, Independent MLAs and BJP rebels Mavji Desai, Dharmendrasinh Vaghela and Dhavalsinh Zala held a meeting in Bayad town in north Gujarat during the day.

The trio was with the BJP in the past but contested as Independents after being denied tickets in the recent elections.

After the meeting, Vaghela said he has already extended his support to the BJP because he was with the party since the beginning of his political career.

While Desai and Zala have not made any statement in this regard, it is widely speculated they too will offer support to the ruling party.



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