Jayesh Patel, prominent co-operative leader and face of the protest against the bullet train in Gujarat, on Monday, joined the BJP.
Surat-based Patel heads the Dakshin Gujarat Khedut Samaaj.
He led several protests by farmers in Surat, Navsari and Valsad to demand better compensation for land being acquired for the ambitious project.
The farmers had also moved the Gujarat High Court in the matter.
The petition was later discarded by the court.
Another co-operative leader Vasant Patel also joined the Saffron party.
The bullet train will connect Ahmedabad to Mumbai and drastically cut down travelling time between the two cities.
Of the 508.17-km-long bullet train corridor, 155.76 km will be in Maharashtra, 348.04 km in Gujarat and 4.3 km in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Jayant Patel said dialogue with the government was the best way to resolve the issue.
He added that farmers were never against the project but wanted better compensation.
Both Patels were welcomed to the party at its headquarters in Gandhinagar by state unit chief CR Paatil and minister Ganpat Vasava.
What Jayesh Patel said
“I realised that instead of agitation, farmers’ issues can be resolved better by holding talks with the government. I am confident that the move to join BJP will eventually benefit farmers,” Patel told reporters.
He said farmers were mainly demanding higher compensation for their land.
Patel claimed farmers in Olpad taluka in Surat received a higher compensation after he held talks with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel.
“We will now try to resolve issues faced by farmers in Navsari and Valsad district through a dialogue with the government. Farmers are ready to cooperate,” he was quoted by an agency as saying.
What CR Patil said
BJP President CR Patil said farmers from south Gujarat wanted Patel to join the BJP.
This way he can serve the people better.
He said the BJP government at the centre has come up with several schemes for farmers.
He said these schemes were decided to benefit the farmers across the country.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here