Gandhinagar: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the main opposition in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), got a big jolt on Friday February 4 after five of its corporators jumped ship to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
All the five were inducted into the saffron fold in the presence of Gujarat Minister of State (MoS) for Home, Harsh Sanghvi, who’s also the MLA from Surat.
The five corporators are – Bhavana Chimanlal Solanki from Ward 2, Ruta Keyur Kakadiya from Ward 3, Manisha Jagdishbhai Kukadiya from Ward 5, Jyotika Vinodbhai Lathiya from Ward 8, and Vipul Dhirubhai Movliya from Ward 16.
The five corporators were not seen for the last two days, and there were talks that they would leave AAP. It was also learnt that all these corporators were in touch with a young Patidar leader.
The five corporators on Friday joined the saffron camp at the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar in the presence of Sanghvi. BJP General Secretary Pradeepsinh Vaghela welcomed them into the party by offering them the saffron ‘khes’.
Meanwhile, the AAP in Surat issued a show-cause notice to corporator Vipul Movliya for his suspicious activities. According to reports, he was served the notice after reports emerged that he has left the party.
With the exit of these five members, the number of AAP corporators has reduced to 22, and there are fears that the party may lose the opposition leader’s seat in the SMC.
For the opposition leader’s post in the corporation, the party must have a minimum of 24 corporators. AAP had 27 corporators in the SMC before five left for the BJP on Friday.
While the AAP has alleged that all the defectors were lured with monetary gains and other temptations, the five corporators in question denied the allegations and said that their voices in the party were not heard, and that they were prevented from carrying out public works in their respective wards by senior AAP leaders.