Home News Reports Shankarsinh Vaghela quits Congress. But where will he go?

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 With Your Friends & Fans:
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.


Election 2019 Final Tally

Check the final seat tally and other post election coverage

A tribute to OpIndia’s fallen star

On 13th May 2019, Devandhu Rajput succumbed to cancer.

The Left has lost its deposit. It is time for the Right to fight Modi

Modi 2.0 heralds a new beginning for India and her people. It must not be allowed to cultivate the habits of Modi 1.0.

Smriti Irani’s aide in Amethi shot dead, his son says some Congress workers were not happy with BJP’s ‘Vijay Yatra’

Smriti Irani had defeated Rahul Gandhi on his home turf of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh by a margin of 55,120 votes
NYT peddles Modi 2.0 as victory of India's most divisive leader

Dear New York Times, India has chosen Modi 2.0, deal with it

When India gives a thumping, unprecedented, overwhelming victory to a man who has made every single Indian feel proud of their nation and heritage, the NYT's heartburn is expected. 

Meerut: Communal tension after a video showing Muslim men beating up shopkeepers goes viral

A viral video where Muslim men are beating up a shopkeeper has triggered communal tensions in Meerut

Rajdeep Sardesai thinks Narendra Modi should thank Masood Azhar, among others, for BJP’s victory

As a long term Congress loyalist media person, Rajdeep Sardesai is yet to come to terms that Modi won a second term with thumping majority

Rahul Gandhi upset that senior Congress leaders didn’t shout ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ enough, lashes out on them for party’s defeat

Amusingly, though Rahul Gandhi had indeed offered to resign, the CWC, that is chaired by himself, had unanimously rejected the resignation and asked him to reconstruct the party

Left has failed, but the ‘Right’ does not understand Modi as well

With the left looking irrelevant, the right needs to get its act together.

Congress-friendly journalist Pallavi Ghosh calls out her own channel for reporting ‘wrong news’ about the Gandhis

Senior journalist Pallavi Ghosh just accused her own channel of spreading fake news
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories

Latest articles

Connect with us

165,146FansLike
143,628FollowersFollow
65,512SubscribersSubscribe
Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans: