Ahead of Gujarat assembly elections 2017, Congress shapes up anti-BJP front

Gujarat Pradesh Congress committee president Bharatsinh Solanki at a press conference on Saturday

He said that Rahul will attend his rally on 23 October when he along with his supporters will join the Congress party. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will be in Gujarat on October 23 where Mr Thakor is expected to join the party.

"Similarly, we also invite Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani to join hands with the Congress".

Following Thakor's joining, it is likely that other two will also join the Congress soon in order to give a strong fight to the BJP which has been in power in the state for a long time now.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is heading his party's poll campaign in Gujarat.

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti has been protesting against the ruling BJP-led government with demands of reservation for Patidar community.

The party is also reaching out to the 24 year old Hardik Patel who is leading the stir for reservation in jobs and education for the influential Patidar community. I now hear that they are ready to join hands with the Congress.

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The BJP, which has announced a Non-Reserved Category Educational and Economic Development Board and Commission to placate the agitators, has been portraying Patel as a "Congress agent".

Earlier in the day, another Patidar leader Hardik Patel had turned down the Congress' invitation to fight the Gujarat Assembly election jointly, saying the polls were not a BJP-Congress fight.

After the recent Rajya Sabha where Congress leader Ahmed Patel barely scraped through, the party had shut its doors on an alliance with the NCP. I can not contest elections myself because of constitutional provisions, nor do I want.

Congress managers claimed Hardik had agreed to lend tactical support to them without entering into a formal pact. "I also invite Chhotu Vasava, who helped us in the Rajya Sabha polls, to support the Congress", he said. Hardik Patel himself said, "I can not contest polls (He is 24 years old and the necessary age to contest elections is 25) and I will not contest".

For the past couple of years the three leaders from Patidar, OBC and Dalit communities have influenced the state politics, drawing huge crowds.

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