The calm and shy OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, who seems to be an exception compared to the other furious leaders in Gujarat, said that it is high time now that the Gujaratis give a befitting reply to the ruling BJP in the poll-bound state. Alpesh Thakor, who recently joined the Congress, ahead of the assembly polls alleged that the BJP and Prime Minister have lost their charm now and the Prime Minister’s emotional crocodile tears will not work now.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is on a two-day tour to Gujarat for his last leg of the election campaigning which will conclude on 25 Nov. Rahul Gandhi has been frequently visiting the state and has personally taken charge of the polls. The response he is receiving back from the people is also a little surprising for many, as the Congress leader is now being taken seriously by the people and they are responding to his addresses.
To this, the BJP has said that it is only a matter of time and all the popularity of Rahul Gandhi will be eroded away when Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes and addresses the Gujaratis. Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a number of poll rallies beginning from 27 Nov.
An Ahmedabad-based journalist also commented regarding the rising response to Congress leader, he said that “these youth leaders are like children jumping around in excitement. When their uncle hits the campaign trail, they will see Gujarat slipping away from Congress yet again.”
The OBC leader responding to the confidence of BJP leaders remarked that “Narendra Modi ji will come and cry. That is his final weapon. He will come to Gujarat, shed tears and seek votes in the name of his own asmita.” The OBC leader, however, also said that the people of Gujarat are fed up with the false promises of BJP and the people are now question the Prime Minister, whether they should now sacrifice their lives for his honour. “Modi ji, tamari izzat maate shu ami mariye?” (Should we die for your honour?)”
Compared to the firebrand, the Patidar agitation spearheads Hardik Patel, the OBC leader is soft spoken and is regarded as a shy leader, who politely accepts that Congress has to overcome many challenges. But this shyness of Alpesh is only until he is not speaking to his men and community. As soon as the leader address the rallies, his fierce voice is greeted with thunderous applause.
Addressing a rally, the OBC leader said that he is not afraid of telling the truth and speak against the arrogance of BJP. He said that “They say the BJP can scare you. Here I stand in front of you, not afraid to speak up against their arrogance. They say the BJP can buy you. I stand her as proof that Gujaratis can’t be bought. They say the government puts its patta (leash) around others. But, I refuse to become their paaltu (pet).”
Alpesh claimed that the Prime Minister has lost his charm in his home state. During a rally he attacking Modi, he said that “You should see the smirk on the voters’ faces when we talk about Modi ji‘s broken promises. They say, he is a jaadugar (magician) who promised to conjure an elephant but couldn’t even produce a bird. Now, his only option to make a sentimental appeal.”
He said to the gathering that these Gujarat assembly elections are not between the BJP and the Congress, it is between the Gujaratis and the BJP. To this, his listeners loudly responded that “Congress aave chhe, Modi jaave chhe (Congress is coming and BJP is going).” Appealing to the people, not to be misled by the false charisma of Modi he said that “Don’t get misled by tears, appeals for saving Modi ji‘s asmita. This time we don’t want a meri (mine) or teri (yours) government. The time has come for apni sarkar(our government).”
The fact that OBC leader Alpesh Thakor and Patidar leader Hardik Patel are on the same page, backing the Congress is a little ironical. Until recent time, the two community leaders were standing against each other, as Hardik was demanding for Patidar reservation under the OBC quota and Alpesh stood against Hardik’s demand arguing that the reservation demand of the Patidars if granted, will be on the cost of the OBCs.
But since now, the sheep and the tiger are drinking from the same pond, during a press conference, responding to a query, Alpesh said that why all the talks have to start an end at reservation only when there are so many other serious issues. He said that instead of wasting time on the reservations being demanded even by high castes, the focus should be on what are the reasons that gave rise to such a situation.
Expressing his views on the demand for reservation, the OBC leader said that “Why was the demand for reservation raised by the prosperous (samrudh) caste? That is because of the frustration, due to which such a situation has arisen in Gujarat. And where a prosperous caste is in such a condition, imagine the condition of the downtrodden and backward castes. This fight is the middle class and the poor against arrogance.”
He also spoke about his views on the need for reservation, Alpesh said that the need for reservation rose, because the BJP failed on every policy and front. Underlining the demands of Hardik, he said that “They are not demanding reservation in 49 percent (OBC quota), they are seeking this for their poor children. I believe that poor children of upper caste (people) should be given constitutional rights, not only in Gujarat but in the entire country. Reservation rights that have been given to backward castes should be given to poor children of upper castes too.”
While interacting with the reports, on terms between Hardik and himself, Alpesh said that “There is no conflict. Both of us are talking about the youth, farmers, unemployment, education, and dignity. There are 50 lakh unemployed youth in Gujarat. Our movement is for the right to a dignified living for all of them.”
Alpesh also cleared that he joined the politics because of the outrage against BJP. He said that in past two years the BJP had not done anything about the issues raised by him regarding the loan waivers for farmers, unemployment, addiction, the poor state of education and hence he had to join the politics.
He further added that he is keeping a check on all the assembly seats and will fight the polls from wherever his party and workers say. He also confidently claimed that with the support of the OBC and the Patidars, Congress will win the assembly elections in Gujarat and win 125 seats.