Senior OBC leader and former Congress legislator, Kunwarji Bavaliya, yesterday took charge as the Water Supply, Animal Husbandry, and Rural Housing Minister in Gujarat's ruling BJP government.
Bavaliya, a five-time Congress legislator from Rajkot's Jasdan, quit the party and was inducted as a Cabinet Minister into Vijay Rupani-government hours later.
He said, "All portfolios are of my interest as they touch rural population's issues."
Bavaliya says solving drinking water crisis is his priority
The OBC leader, who enjoys considerable clout in the numerically-strong Koli community in Saurashtra region, said, "Solving problems of drinking water supply will be my priority."
Talking about his community, Bavaliya said, "I will also work for my Koli community. Due to the lack of education, they are facing problems and became victims of superstition. Education facilities are also less in their areas."
Bavaliya accused Rahul Gandhi of 'playing casteist politics'
Bavaliya said his supporters urged him to join BJP to solve pending problems, which were not possible while being in the opposition party.
He had accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of "playing casteist politics in the party".
With the entry of Bavaliya who hails from Saurashtra, the BJP is hoping to attract voters from Koli community, which has a sizable presence in the region.
Koli community represents four MPs in Lok Sabha
The Koli community is present in large numbers in at least 20 Assembly constituencies in Saurashtra, which sends four MPs to the Lok Sabha.