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Amin joins BJP with supporters

Ahmedabad, Dec. 6: Senior Congress leader and former deputy chief minister Narhari Amin today joined the BJP with several key supporters, striking his party a blow a week before the Gujarat Assembly elections.

Chief minister Narendra Modi himself welcomed Amin at the BJP headquarters this morning, in keeping with the stature of the veteran politician who had rebelled after the Congress denied him the candidature from Gandhinagar.

The Congress, which had tried and failed to placate Amin, played down the departure of a man who had been a core member of the party for two decades, saying he was “not an asset”.

BJP insiders, though, celebrated the gain of an astute poll strategist and a prominent leader of the Patels, who have been unhappy with the ruling party.

Those who joined the BJP with Amin include state Congress secretary Ashish Amin, farmer cell chief Dasrath Patel, city Congress vice-president R.C. Patel and two party spokespersons, Jayanti Parmar and Hitesh Patel.

Gujarat votes in two phases on December 13 and 17.