A month after the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) polls ended in a tie, the BJP on Friday captured power in the civic body as Congress corporator Pravin Patel switched sides moments before the general body meet, swinging election in favour of the saffron party.
The defection of the Congress corporator took place just before the general body meet held at Gandhinagar and as a reward Patel was elected as the city mayor.
Last month, after the BJP and Congress won 16 seats each out of the total 32, both the parties were having equal chances of forming the board through draw of lots during Friday’s meeting.
However, Patel switched sides and joined hands with BJP ahead of the meet and helped the party gain majority as its tally went up to 17 while Congress’ was reduced to 15.
“I am glad to announce that Congress corporator Pravin Patel has joined BJP. With this, BJP is now in majority,” said BJP general secretary and in-charge of GMC, KC Patel, ahead of the meeting.
Later in the meeting, Patel was elected as the mayor of GMC by the elected representatives of BJP. The meet saw some heated exchanges between Congress and BJP as the opposition was seemingly upset due to defection of its elected member.
After being elected as the mayor, Pravin Patel said he hopped over to the BJP for the betterment of Gandhinagar and its citizens.
“Since it was a tie, I decided to switch sides to end the logjam and ensure that people of Gandhinagar are not deprived of development, as BJP is ruling at the Centre and in state. As a mayor, my priority will be to work for the betterment of people,” said Patel.
Despite being made mayor by BJP, Patel said he was not given any offer to move to the party. Patel also claimed that he always wanted to be in BJP as he originally belonged to the outfit.
“This is my home-coming, as I originally belong to BJP and went to Congress few years back. I have not joined BJP because I was given some lucrative offer. Even my voters wanted that I should join BJP to ensure development of the city and my ward,” said Patel.