Not joining BJP: Vaghela

Not joining BJP: Vaghela
Senior Gujarat Congress leader and former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela on Tuesday again said that he was not joining Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Despite having left BJP over two decades ago, the clarification from Vaghela came as he was continuously hit by a blizzard of talks over the last month-and-a-half that he was quitting Congress and re-joining his former party.

Instead, Vaghela talked of his discomfort within Congress party over “issues” and said that he would hold a meeting of his supporters in Gandhinagar on June 24. Perhaps a show of strength by the man who is being seen as getting isolated gradually within his party and not for the first time though. He is still rued by many in Congress for his connect with the saffron brigade and RSS in the first half of his political career. “All matters will be settled on the 24th...I will consult my friends and colleagues and convey the feelings to the party high command,” he said.

On being asked whether he would rejoin BJP if his supporters tell him to do so on June 24th, Vaghela quipped, “I do not think they will do so.” The 77-year-old Vaghela also reiterated his stand that he was not in the chief ministerial candidacy race of Congress. “I am here as the leader of Opposition and shall continue to attend party meetings even after 24th.  I am not unhappy with the leadership. All I want is to see the Congress return to power. I’m not interested in power equations or what happens thereafter.”

He reiterated his demand that party announce names of its candidates at the earliest and makes it stand on possible alliances with other parties as JD(U) or NCP clear.

Meanwhile, BJP national president Amit Shah, who was in the state meeting party functionaries from Saurashtra region at Junagadh again said Tuesday that the party would win more than 150 of the 182 Assembly seats in the forthcoming polls. “BJP hasn’t lost election in Gujarat since 1990. But upcoming Assembly polls are not to be fought just for victory but to wipe out Congress completely from the state,” he told BJP workers.

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