Binit Modi, Ahmedabad, 6 November 2020
A four-time MLA from Kankrej assembly constituency in Banaskantha, Dharshibhai Khanpara died on November 3, 2020. He was elected 4 times on the Congress party ticket in the Gujarat Assembly of 1990, Ninth, Eleventh and finally in the Thirteenth Assembly of 2012.
The fact that after the last fourth term of MLA post, his ticket was cut, he was kept away from candidature. In the last thirteenth assembly, he was the MLA for the Kankrej seat from 2012 to 2017. As elections were held for the new 14th Assembly in December 2017, the age group was close to 80, so it was natural that the party should give a chance to a new candidate, a youth. But Congress leaders neither asked him for a new name nor took any advice from him.
Told by party that, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been approached by Alpesh Thakor for not allocating tickets to him. Dharshibhai says that the brothers are supporters of the BJP. Did my ticket get cut off from that job? It was only when he got the answer that he knew that Alpesh Thakor had now joined the Congress. Dharshibhai used to say, “You people should write that it will not last long in Palati (Congress Party)”. The leaders of Gujarat Congress understood that Bappa had no candidature, and he was speaking angrily. Dharshibhai himself was not a strong contender for candidacy. But the party was saddened by the fact that a senior leader like him was ticketed by Alpesh Thakor, a new party leader who had no political contribution to the Congress.
However, the future he had told came true. Alpeshkumar Khodabhai Thakor, who won the Radhanpur assembly seat as a Congress candidate, joined the BJP within a year.
Dharshibhai Khanpara, Corona was reported to be infected and was also treated. However, at the age of eighty, the treatment did not work. Born on 19 December 1939 in Vada village of Kankrej taluka, Dhiribhai Lakhbhai Khanpura died on 3 November 2020 in Ahmedabad.