Gujarat Congress MLAs Want Shankersinh Vaghela To Be CM Candidate
As we all know that assembly polls are near in the Gujarat. So both the parties BJP and Congress are ready with their candidates.
Many Congress candidates demand from the party to declare senior leader Shankersinh Vaghela as the chief ministerial candidate in Gujarat.
They conveyed their demand to AICC general secretary and state in-charge Gurudas Kamat in a meeting at Vaghela's bungalow in Gandhinagar last night.
State Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki was not present at the meet, but he later said the party has several competent leaders, including Vaghela, and one of them can be projected for the top position.
From the 57 Congress MLAs in Gujarat, 36 attended the meeting and endorsed the 76-year-old politician's name as the CM's face, said Gyasuddin Shaikh, a party legislator from the city.
Prominent MLAs, who attended the meet included Mohansinh Rathva, Indranil Rajyaguru, Kamaniba Rathod, Anand Chaudhary, Punabhai Gamit, Chandrikaben Bariya and Ramsinh Parmar.
Gyasuddin Shaikh said,"During the meeting, all these 36 MLAs demanded that our Leader of Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela be declared as the CM candidate. This will increase our chances of winning the polls".
He further added,"I openly told Kamatji that the Congress has to project Vaghela as the CM face if the party is to win more than 60 seats in the 182-member House".
Shaikh also said,"Vaghela is a true mass leader. Some MLAs even told Kamatji that they would not contest the polls if Vaghela is not declared the candidate for the top post".
The development came just a month after Vaghela announced he is not in the race for the CM's post in Gujarat, where the Congress is out of power for over two decades.
Another Congress MLA Ramsinh Parmar said the party's central leadership should decide on Vaghela's candidature at the earliest.
Parmar further told,"The Congress is out of power for the last 20 years. Thus, many of us clearly said Vaghela must be given a free hand in these polls if the party wants to form the next government. We urge the party high command to make an announcement in this regard at the earliest".
MLA from Rajkot said,"Since the meeting was called at a short notice, many MLAs could not come. Otherwise, all were invited".
Vaghela, however, declined to comment on the stand taken by his supporters at the gathering but added he is ready to make way for a Patel community MLA to take over as the Leader of Opposition.
The former chief minister said,"During the meet, I told them we can appoint a member from the Patel community as the LoP. This meeting was called because the AICC General Secretary (Kamat) was in the town and wanted to meet MLAs".
Vaghela said,"Solanki came back from the US last evening. If he would have arrived early, he may have been called too. Our meeting was not convened secretly. It was all about charting out a strategy against BJP".
Solanki said,"It is the right of the MLAs to express their views to the party high command. Vaghela is our senior leader and it was natural for MLAs to attend the meet on his invitation".
Solanki further added,"We have many prominent leaders such as Vaghela, Arjun Modhwadia, Shaktisinh Gohil, Kunvarji Bavalia, Siddharth Patel and Jagdish Thakor. The Congress can win with a two-thirds majority if any one of them is projected as the CM candidate".
He added,"I don't see anything wrong in calling that meeting. I believe the most important thing is to ensure that Congress wins the elections".