Hundreds of AAP members have joined the BJP in Gujarat ahead of the Kejriwal-Mann visit; AAP

A few days before the visit of AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and newly-appointed Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, hundreds of members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) joined the ruling BJP in Gujarat at the party’s headquarters in Gandhinagar on Wednesday. Ahmedabad where a road show is planned.

Local AAP leaders termed the crossover as “sham” and said that with the exception of some of its suspended members, others who joined the BJP were never affiliated with the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. At a function held at the state BJP headquarters ‘Kamalam’ in the presence of Gujarat unit chief CR Patil, hundreds of people took off their ‘AAP’ caps and wore saffron, the BJP said.

Patil greeted several of them with saffron scarves. A large number of AAP office-bearers and party members from 11 districts of Gujarat joined the BJP at its party headquarters on Wednesday, the BJP said in a statement.

A leader of the Akhundwadi nationalist Sebadal and his supporters have also joined the saffron party, it said. “These people have seen how our Prime Minister is working for the development and security of the country and for the betterment of the common man. They went to the BJP to join the party, and today they have been included,” said senior BJP leader Rajini Patel.

One person has claimed that he is the president of a taluk minority front in the AAP and joined the BJP on Wednesday. He said the AAP had not suspended him. “AAP is a party full of corruption.

Terms are offered in AAP only for those who offer money, which I do not like. That is why I have officially decided to leave the AAP, “he claimed.

After recording a spectacular performance in the Punjab elections, the AAP is now looking at Gujarat, the stronghold of the BJP and the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where elections are scheduled for December this year. Kejriwal and Mann are expected to hold a roadshow in Ahmedabad on April 2. An AAP office-bearer claimed that those who joined the BJP on Wednesday were members of the saffron party who were falsely presented as belonging to the AAP at a BJP function.

AAP general secretary Manoj Sorathia dismissed the BJP’s claim that the ruling party feared the rise of AAP in Gujarat politics ahead of the elections. He said the AAP was preparing to contest 182 seats in Gujarat.

“The BJP is afraid of the AAP. We have seen only four to five of our members who were officially suspended from the AAP, joining the BJP at today’s function. By joining other members, the BJP is making a drama,” he said. Sorathia dared to prove to the BJP that those who joined the saffron party were members of the AAP. The AAP entered BJP-ruled Gujarat last year, winning 27 seats in the Surat Municipal Corporation.


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