It is said that there are no permanent friends or foes in politics. This was demonstrated once again on Thursday when former Congress leader Narhari Amin joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of chief minister Narendra Modi and former minister Amit Shah.
Amin was welcomed into the BJP by Modi at a ceremony held at the party’s office in Khanpur.
Amin hugged both Modi and Amit Shah at the ceremony held at the BJP office in Khanpur to welcome him and, in his speech to party workers, termed Narendra Modi as ‘pride of Gujarat’.
“Modi is all set to achieve a hat-trick by defeating the Congress in the polls. We will merge in the BJP like sugar in milk,” Amin said.
This is undoubtedly a big political victory for Modi and Shah who visited the party office for the first time since assembly elections were announced in the state. Earlier many leaders had joined the saffron brigade but they were welcomed by leaders other than Modi.
In his speech, Modi said, “The Congress is duping not only the people but its own workers too. Nepotism will come to an end and democracy will be strengthened with Amin and other leaders joining the BJP. The proof of our strength will be recognised on December 20.”
Besides Amin, state Congress general secretary Ashish Amin; Kisan Cell president Dashrath Patel, Jamjodhpur MLA Brijrajsinh Jadeja; Congress spokespersons Jayantilal Parmar and Hitesh Patel alias Pochi also joined the BJP.
Just two years ago, Amin had locked horns with Modi and his close aide Amit Shah over control of Gujarat’s cricket bodies. Amin was chairman of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) for 10 years. However, Shah plotted his defeat in the cricket body elections after which Modi became the president of the state’s apex cricket body and Shah its vice-president.
Following his defeat in the battle for control of the GCA, Amin was very upset and had been nursing a grudge against Modi and Shah. He was, however, confident of reestablishing his influencing in cricket in the state though he could never do so.
Now Amin is with the BJP and has been welcomed into the party by none else than Modi and Shah who were instrumental in ending his rule over the state’s cricket bodies. These bodies also have considerable influence at the national level.
BJP leaders and workers are divided in their view of Amin joining their party. Some workers believe that Amin has no stake in politics now because he was not making any contribution in the Congress after he lost the assembly polls in 2002 and 2007.
On the other had, some workers say that Amin and other Patel leaders have influence in the Patidar community and can help the party get Patel votes.