Ahead of the Assembly polls in Gujarat, Thakor community leader Alpesh Thakor on Saturday said that he will join the Congress on Monday. The announcement comes hours after Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki invited Thakor, Dalit leader Jignesh Mavani and Patidar movement leader Hardik Patel to join the fight against the BJP.

Thakor is the founder of the OSS (Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe) Ekta Manch and Thakor Kshatriya Sena. He met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Solanki and party general secretary Ashok Gehlot on Saturday evening.

“Rahul Gandhi would be coming to our rally [in Ahmedabad] on October 23 and then, I will join the Congress party,” Alpesh Thakor told reporters after his meeting.

The Thakor community accounts for a fifth of the state’s 60-million-strong population. Thakor had opposed the Patidar agitation, spearheaded by Hardik Patel, for reservation in government jobs and education two years ago.

Solanki had said that the party was ready to give a ticket to Patel if he wanted to fight elections in the future. “Constitutionally speaking, I can not contest the election and I don’t need to,” Patel told ANI. “Although, I believe we must unite against the BJP, this is not a BJP-Congress election. This is an election of six crore people of Gujarat.”