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Gujarat Assembly polls: Ex-MLA Kaminiba Rathod joins BJP after accusing Congress of soliciting money for election ticket

Speaking to the news agency ANI, Kaminiba Rathod said, "When tickets were distributed on basis of transaction of money, then I decided that I am going to leave the party and join BJP."

Just days ahead of the Vidhan Sabha polls in the State of Gujarat, former Congress MLA Kaminiba Rathod joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

She was formally inducted into the saffron party in Gandhinagar on Tuesday (November 22). The development comes two days after she tendered her resignation from the Gujarat unit of the Congress party.

In 2012, Kaminiba Rathod won on a Congress ticket from the Dahegam Assembly constituency but lost to the rival BJP candidate in the 2017 elections.

While speaking to the news agency ANI, she said, “When tickets were distributed on basis of transaction of money, then I decided that I am going to leave the party and join BJP.”

Earlier on Sunday (November 20), Kaminiba Rathod resigned from Congress after accusing the party leadership of soliciting ₹1 crore for an election ticket. She alleged that ‘cash for ticket’ was demanded by an agent of the Gujarat Congress President, Jagdish Thakor.

While speaking to Republic TV, she said, “On November 11, I received a call. A person asked me in Gujarati- ‘Where are you? Where are you going? Why are you running about? Don’t take tension. You will get the ticket. Your survey is okay. All local councillors are with you”

The ex-Congress MLA informed, “I told him that I got to know that the state president Jagdish Bhai Thakor thinks differently and doesn’t want to give me a ticket. From November 12, I started getting calls that there is a problem in giving you the ticket.”

“He said that if you want the ticket, their demand is Rs 1 crore. Then, I told him I will think about it and let me know. Later, the person who was talking in Gujarati was making WhatsApp calls asking me to convey my decision quickly,” she further emphasised.

This is not the first time that a Congress leader defected to the saffron party in the run-up to the 2022 Gujarat Assembly polls. Earlier, Congress leaders including Mohansinh Rathava, Bhagvanbhai Barad and Himanshu Vyas also joined hands with the BJP.

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