Ahmedabad: Less than a month after he was won over by the Congress leadership, maverick legislator Alpesh Thakore seems to have decided to queer the pitch for his own party, with two members of his Kshatriya Thakore Sena contesting for Banaskantha Lok Sabha and Unjha Assembly by-elections as Independents.
Swarupji Thakore, who was expected to withdraw his nominations on the last day of withdrawals on Monday, continues in the fray in Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat in north Gujarat as an Independent candidate. Several attempts by the Congress to get Thakore failed.
The nomination by Swarupji Thakore will make it a triangular contest in Banaskantha, where the Congress party has put up a strong candidate Parthibhai Bhatol, who is a dairy cooperatives veteran in the region, against Parbat Patel of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), an MLA from Tharad and Minister of State for Irrigation and Water Resources. The BJP has dropped outgoing MP Harisinh Chaudhary, who has won this seat four times earlier.
The Congress had expected that Alpesh Thakore and his Kshatriya Thakore Sena to actively work and campaign for its candidate Parthbhai Bhatol, but now Swarupji Thakore would prove an irritant and eat into Congress votes.
Similarly, Kshatriya Thakore Sena candidate Natwarji Thakore has filed his nomination for the by-election to Unjha Assembly seat, also in north Gujarat. The by-election for this seat has been necessitated after Congress MLA Asha Patel resigned as a legislator and as a Congress member to defect to the BJP.
As of now, the Congress has neither sought an explanation from Alpesh Thakore nor any action.
Earlier last month, he had himself admitted that he was on the verge of joining the BJP on the pretext that the Congress was ignoring his aspirations and not involving him in decision-making process.
However, sources said Thakore had been hankering for a party ticket to contest the Patan Lok Sabha seat. Later, Thakore told reporters that his concerns had been sorted out by the Congress high command.