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Gujarat Assembly Polls: Ex-BJP minister Jay Narayan Vyas joins Congress, says 'Two banyan trees prevented...'

Jay Narayan Vyas credited two chief engineers who worked under Congress leader Dinsha Patel with the construction of Gujarat's first modern roads. Without naming any BJP leaders, Jay Narayan Vyas expressed regret at leaving the party that had been his home for 32 years

Gujarat Assembly Polls: Ex-BJP minister Jay Narayan Vyas joins Congress, says 'Two banyan trees prevented...'

New Delhi: With only a few days until the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections, Jay Narayan Vyas, a former BJP minister and veteran leader, formally joined the Congress on Monday (November 28, 2022). Vyas, resigned from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party earlier this month along with his son Samir Vyas. In Ahmedabad, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge inducted Vyas, 75, into the party. Ashok Gehlot, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and a Congress veteran, also welcomed Vyas into the party. Vyas served as a minister in Gujarat's BJP government when Narendra Modi was the chief minister. On November 5, he resigned from the BJP. On December 1 and 5, elections for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly are scheduled.

Jay Narayan Vyas was tired of complainant role

Vyas resigned from the BJP on November 5, saying he was tired of being a "complainant" in the saffron party despite his seniority. Between 2007 and 2012, he served as a minister in the Gujarat government. Vyas and his son arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, the city's Congress headquarters, on Monday morning. Vyas' inclusion in the team is expected to help Congress in the Sidhpur seat in Patan district, where sitting Congress MLA Chandanji Thakor is running.

Also Read: 'BJP spends crores to spoil my image...but it's beneficial for me': Rahul Gandhi's swipe at saffron party

Jai Narayan Vyas as an expert

Vyas thanked Kharge and Gehlot for including him in the Congress and stated, “All the irrigation schemes in Gujarat, including that of Narmada, were planned before the 1960s.”He claims that the BJP's narrative that Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation for the Narmada dam on April 5, 1962, is flawed. “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,” said Vyas, who is considered an expert on the subject.

“I can say for sure that 75 per cent of the concrete work of the dam, including the foundation there is more work done at the foundation of the dam than on what you see above the ground was done during Congress regimes. The work started during the reign of Amarsinh Chaudhary and was carried on during the regimes of Sanat Mehta and Chimanbhai Patel,” he added. 

Also Read: Gujarat Elections 2022: 'Even after 27 yrs of rule, PM, Union HM coming here...,' says Cong chief Kharge

Gujarat's first modern roads

Vyas also attributed the construction of Gujarat's first modern roads to two chief engineers who worked under Congress leader Dinsha Patel. Without naming any BJP leaders, Jay Narayan Vyas expressed regret at leaving the party that had been his home for the previous 32 years but claimed that the saffron party had two "banyan trees" that prevented any other leader from growing. When asked about the BJP, he said, “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.”

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