NRI Gujarat Congress leader joins BJP

October 23rd, 2008 - 12:13 am ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Oct 22 (IANS) NRI businessman Chandu K. Patel, who contested and lost the 2007 Gujarat assembly elections on a Congress ticket, Wednesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with a large number of his supporters. “Modi magic is at work. It has worked in the case of Nano due to the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Narendra Modi,” said state BJP president Purushottam Rupala.

The entry of Patel, a prominent industrialist, into the BJP wings is considered to be a big blow for the Congress in the state.

Patel was earlier the Congress candidate from Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha district. He was the richest candidate in the fray with assets totalling Rs.2.21 billion.

His $34-million commercial property in US includes the Hilton Hotel Resort at Dana Point and community halls for Gujaratis in California.

Patel has also been elected president of the National Federation of Indian-American Associations (NFIAA) though he has not formally assumed office. NFIAA had sponsored astronaut Sunita Williams’ visit to India.

As a politician, Patel however failed to make a mark, losing the 2007 assembly election by 8,700 votes. The Congress had suspended him following his recent overtures to the BJP.

“I am impressed by the dynamic leadership of the chief minister. It is due to his sincere efforts that Nano has come to Gujarat,” Patel said.

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