Shankarsinh Vaghela quits Congress. But where will he go?

In what has come as huge blow to Gujarat Congress, veteran party leader Shankarsinh Vaghela on Friday formally announced his resignation ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in Gujarat.

“I have resigned as Leader of Opposition in Gujarat. I will resign as Congress MLA after the Rajya Sabha election. I am not a bonded labourer. I am a free bird now,” Vaghela said addressing a rally of his supporters. The rally was organised for showcasing a show of strength on the occasion of his 77th birthday.

In wake of Congress MLAs from Gujarat indulged in cross-voting in the just-concluded presidential polls, Vaghela claimed that the Congress has expelled him “out of fear” and the party has been “perturbed”.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Vaghela outrightly rejected reports about his political retirement. Reports suggest that Vaghela is unhappy with Congress over as it turned down his demand to declare him as the face for 2017 Assembly elections. His last-ditch meetings with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi failed to yield any result.

Vaghela, once an active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), started his political career from the Jan Sangh, which later evolved as the BJP. He was jailed during Emergency. After the Emergency was lifted, he was elected to 6th Lok Sabha on a Janata Party ticket. Later he joined the BJP and worked as the general secretary and the president of Gujarat unit of BJP. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1984 to 1989. In 1989, Vaghela was elected to the 9th Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar constituency and subsequently elected to 10th, 13th and 14th Lok Sabhas.

In 1995 Gujarat Assembly elections, the BJP won a majority and Keshubhai Patel was installed as the Chief Minister. This is when Vaghela started revolting against the party. In 1996, he broke away from the BJP and floated the Rashtriya Janata Party. Vaghela clinched the Gujarat Chief Minister’s post by staging a coup against the BJP with the help of the Congress. But he had to resign from the post of Chief Minister in October 1997 in the wake of political turmoil in Gujarat. Later he merged his party with the Congress.

Vaghela was elected to 1999 and 2004 Lok Sabhas from Kapadvanj. He was made Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles in Manmohan Singh Cabinet in 2004. Kapadvanj Lok Sabha constituency was reconstituted as Panchmahal, and Vaghela lost the seat to BJP in 2009 general elections (not as a result of renaming). Ahead of the 2012 Gujarat Legislative Assembly election, Vaghela was appointed as the Chairman of Campaign Committee. Till date, Vaghela was serving as the leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.

There are speculations that Vaghela may do a ghar wapsi to the BJP in the run up to Assembly elections scheduled for later this year. In May, he had met BJP president Amit Shah. The meeting raised many eyebrows. However, both the BJP and Vaghela had termed the 10-minue meeting a “courtesy call.”

Reports suggest that while some of his loyal MLAs in Congress are keen on joining the BJP, Vaghela is also exploring plans to spearhead a “third front” in Gujarat. With AAP having virtually given up, and forces like Hardik Patel looking to play a role, a space for third front could indeed be possible. Gujarat assembly elections will take place towards end of the year.

Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.

Most read articles recently

Image Source: The Week

Mandya: Actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj attends funeral of Pulwama martyr, villagers expose his hypocrisy towards Armed Forces

Prakash Raj, a left wing ideologue, who is often known for joining hands with the left-liberals to express their hate towards Hindus and the BJP, has plans to contest in the upcoming elections from Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency.

Pakistan quotes The Quint, Karan Thapar and Praveen Swami to brand Kulbhushan Jadhav as a ‘RAW spy’ at ICJ

Pakistan quoted several articles published in Indian to present its case during Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing at the International Court of Justice
How Ravish Kumar and Vinod Dua misled people about ‘martyr status’ to CRPF jawans after Pulwama attack

How Ravish Kumar and Vinod Dua misled people about ‘martyr status’ to CRPF jawans

Ravish Kumar of NDTV is a man known for many lows. But this may well be his lowest point.
Amar Singh donates property worth Rs 15 crore to RSS-affiliated Seva Bharti.

Amar Singh donates ancestral properties worth 15 crores to RSS-affiliated organisation Seva Bharti

Amar Singh donated Rs 15 crore property to Seva Bharti, an RSS affiliated social service organisation.
Article 370

Article 370 must go: BJP can’t pussyfoot any longer

So what is this Article 370 which allows J&K to function much against the national (or for that matter, it’s own) interests?

Woman claims sexual harassment at NDTV, claims Barkha, Prannoy Roy never responded to her complains

She said she wrote multiple mails to Dutt and Prannoy Roy but her concerns were not addressed

The Hindu not only cropped the Rafale dissent note, but also had digitally manipulated it

Comparison of Hindu document with ANI document shows that Hindu had doctored the Rafale dissent note
NDTV's misleading headline

NDTV does what it does best: First spreads falsehood over Vande Bharat Express, now twists PM Modi’s statement

Congress President Rahul Gandhi had used the event of technical slag of Train-18 to target the NDA government and had mocked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi over reports of India’s fastest train, Vande Bharat Express suffering a breakdown.

Liberalism is a mental disorder: M.K Venu proves it in his latest article about Pulwama attack for The Wire

Leftist propaganda outlet recently published an article about Pulwama attack by 'Eminent Intellectual' M.K. Venu which defies common sense and basic knowledge.

Co-founder of self-proclaimed ‘fact-checking’ blog, AltNews, spreads another fake news by using ‘cropped video’

Co-founder of self-proclaimed fact-checking portal Alt News, that often indulges in co-ordinated attacks against social media users with the help of Islamists, has yet again spread fake news in an attempt to incite communal violence.

Latest articles

Connect with us


Don't miss these