Mehsana, Feb 7 (PTI) Asha Patel, who resigned as a Congress MLA in Gujarat a few days ago, would be joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday.

Patel made the announcement Thursday after holding a meeting with her supporters and Patidar leaders at Unjha town of Mehsana district.

Patel, who has resigned as Unjha MLA and also quit the Congress, said her supporters asked her to join the BJP.

“My supporters were of the opinion that I should join the BJP. It was their decision, not mine. Both Congress and BJP were ready to admit me. But my supporters have decided that I should join the BJP,” she said.

She hinted that she will be inducted into the BJP at a party function in the neighbouring Patan district Friday.

Patel was elected from Unjha in the 2017 Assembly polls. She had defeated BJP veteran Naran Patel.

She resigned on February 2.

Patidar community leader Mukesh Patel, who was present at Thursday’s meeting in Unjha, said Asha Patel will join the BJP at a function in Patan.

Asha Patel claimed she had not struck any deal with the BJP. Asked about her future plans, she said she will fight elections, be it a by-election or a Lok Sabha polls, if the party asked her.

Earlier, addressing her supporters and Patidar leaders, Patel claimed she faced insults in the Congress.

“I want to tender my apology as I did not seek your permission while quitting. Though I was insulted several times in the party, neither the state nor the national (Congress) leadership did anything. My pleas went unheard. I have not resigned for money or for any post,” said Patel.

After her speech, those present at the meeting unanimously gave approval to Patel to join the BJP Friday.

Reacting to the development, Gujarat Congress chief Amit Chavda said it was “very clear now that Ashaben Patel had resigned following a deal with the BJP and its government.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.