Jolt to BJP in Gujarat: Former minister Jay Narayan Vyas joins Congress ahead of state assembly polls
Four-time MLA and former Cabinet Minister of Government of Gujarat in charge of Health & Family Welfare department, Jay Narayan Vyas along with his son Samir Vyas joined the Congress on Monday
In a jolt to the incumbent BJP in Gujarat, four-time MLA and former Cabinet Minister of Government of Gujarat in charge of Health & Family Welfare department, Jay Narayan Vyas along with his son Samir Vyas has joined the Congress.
Congress President Mallikarajun Kharge and Gujarat Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot facilitated Vyas' joining Congress in Ahmedabad.
Vyas, who was a minister in Modi's cabinet from 2007-20012, resigned from the saffron party that had been his home for 32 years, citing personal reasons.
Vyas attacked PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, and called them “Banyan tree” after joining Congress.
“I was seeing that a banyan tree was getting bigger there and you know nothing grows under the banyan tree. One more banyan tree got added to the first one and so if you dismiss the entire Cabinet nothing happens. If Gujarat is being run by such leaders, then I think it is not in the interest of the state,” said Vyas without naming Modi or Shah.
Vyas, an engineering graduate, is known as a water management expert in the state. He also headed the Sardar Sarovar Dam project when Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat.
He also attributed the construction of modern roads to the Congress governments in Gujarat.
"All the irrigation schemes in Gujarat, including that of Narmada, were planned before the 1960s. The foundation stone for which Panditji laid the foundation stone was for the Navagam dam which was 240 feet high. As it was a terminal dam, the Khosla committee was asked to study it and he suggested a dam 550 feet high. It was obvious that lands of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh would get submerged and so a dispute followed," he said.
Additionally, Vyas criticised the BJP for defaming Jawaharlal Nehru.
Polls for the 182 assembly constituencies in Gujarat will be held in two phases between December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will take place on December 8. The results of the Himachal Pradesh assembly election will also be announced on December 8.
Observers believe that Vyas' leaving the BJP ahead of the first phase of the polling may impact the party's performance in Patan district, as Vyas has, won the Sidhpur assembly seat in Patan district four times