Rebel Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala on Thursday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, ANI reported. The two leaders joined the saffron party in the presence of Gujarat BJP President Jitu Vaghani.

The two leaders had resigned as members of the Gujarat Assembly on July 5, after cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections for two seats. Thakor, who was elected legislator from Radhanpur in the 2017 Assembly elections, said after casting his vote: “The Congress observer tried to create a lot of issues over my vote, so you can understand for whom did I vote.”

“I joined Congress trusting [former party chief] Rahul Gandhi, but unfortunately he did nothing for us,” Thakor had said. “We were insulted again and again. So, I have resigned from the post of Congress MLA. I have cast my vote for the honest national leadership that wants to take the country to new heights. I cast my vote as per my inner voice. I got nothing other than mental stress by being in the Congress party. I am free from that burden.”

Zala, the legislator from Bayad, claimed that Congress leaders were not listening to party workers. “From the day I became an MLA, senior leaders in the party were harassing me,” Zala was quoted as saying. “I had informed the party office in writing in this regard as well. Party activists were not being heard. Party leaders were not hearing the grassroots workers. I have resigned as an MLA.”

Thakor and Zala had skipped a legislative party meeting held by Congress MLAs at a resort in Banaskantha district on July 4. Thakor had quit all posts in the party on April 10 after the Thakor Kshatriya Sena, an outfit founded by him, decided to withdraw its support to the Congress. He had then said the party leadership had betrayed him.