In October 2018, a video went viral on social media in which a then-Congress leader from Gujarat, Alpesh Thakor was seen inciting a mob against ‘migrants’ and ‘outsiders’ in Gujarat. The same man, Alpesh Thakor, joined the BJP in July this year. If that wasn’t enough, the BJP thought it fit to give a Assembly election ticket to the divisive and hateful man.
Six assembly seats in Gujarat go for bypolls on the 21st of October. One of these seats, Radhanpur, has been given to Alpesh Thakor to win for the BJP. The OBC leader, who has a strong following in the Thakor community, had won this seat from a Congress ticket in 2017.
Alpesh Thakor is fit to be a case-study in how to be divisive, communal and a hateful politician. Being directly involved in violence against Bihari and UP migrants in Gujarat, the man has no shred of basic decency in him. So much so, that after affecting such violence causing a hurried exodus from the state, the then Congress leader Alpesh Thakor had the temerity to suggest that the people were merely leaving Gujarat for Chhath Puja.
From not attending court summons in defamation cases, jumping the political ship as per his whims and fancies, to being an absolute casteist politician, Alpesh Thakor has done it all.
Why then, should the BJP be over benevolent towards such a person? Why does the BJP willingly accept any kind of trash from other political parties? Even when Alpesh Thakor had quit the Congress and jumped ship to BJP, many supporters of the BJP had reigned fire on it for entertaining any Tom, Dick and Harry and accepting them into its fold. This is the thing with BJP’s well-wishers. When the party commits blunders, the supporters come out and point out the mistakes of the party without a second thought. One would expect the BJP to get some sense back into their heads after the thrashing they received in July, however, Alpesh Thakor is contesting on a BJP ticket and could even be included in the Gujarat cabinet.
Of course, the BJP might win the seat from which the man is fighting, however, is such a victory more important for the party than the trust of the people? Whether it is some weird complex at play, or merely a political game to win elections, the BJP has off late, unfortunately, become a dumping ground for any kind of political leader who wants to join the party, irrespective of their background and misdeeds.
Alpesh Thakor had made extravagant, and evidently ill-informed statements about PM Modi in the past. This is the same man who had claimed that PM Modi ate mushrooms worth four lakh everyday. He also claimed that PM Modi had a dark complexion before assuming office as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, however, after doing so, he acquired a fair complexion, courtesy- mushrooms from Taiwan. Why would the BJP not file a defamation case against this man instead?
If chatter is to be believed, there is also a possibility of Alpesh Thakor being given a cabinet berth in the Gujarat government. This, if true, would prove to be a disaster for the BJP in the long run. The party will be well-advised not to tread this path, and turn back on the decision to include Thakor in the party. It is about time that the BJP starts addressing the reservations of their own supporters with respect to the political choices that the party makes. Being ignorant about the reality would prove fatal for the party in the near future. Such choices made by the BJP greatly diminish their ‘party with a difference’ rhetoric.