Vaghela's son not to contest Assembly polls as BJP candidate, for now

Vaghela's son not to contest Assembly polls as BJP candidate, for now
Mahendrasinh Vaghela, son of Shankarsinh Vaghela, a senior political leader from Gujarat and former chief minister who moved away from Congress a couple of months ago along with 13 legislators, has decided not to join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), unlike other legislators.

Rebel Congress leader Shankarsinh had in September announced support to a newly-formed political front in the state ‘Jan Vikalp Morcha’ for the forthcoming Assembly polls in the state. Shankarsinh said that he has offered his son to contest as a Jan Vikalp candidate if he wishes to. “He said that he will think about it and let me know,” Shankarsinh added.

Mahendrasinh had been vocal about joining BJP and has had a meeting with even BJP national president and several state BJP leaders, including chief minister Vijay Rupani to facilitate his move to BJP. The news of Mahendrasinh not moving to saffron fold is seen by a few political observers as break down of talks between BJP and Vaghela clan.

Jan Vikalp Morcha was formed by Parthesh Patel, advisor for online media to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in that past and to Shankarsinh Vaghela in the recent past. “We are planning for not just 2017 polls but beyond that too,” Patel had said earlier.

Shankarsinh has been seen single-handedly travelling extensively across the state to test the waters of his political future. Shankarsinh, who had in the late 1990s through an experiment of a third political entity - Rashtriya Janata Party - failed to make any electoral dent in the state that witnesses straight fight between BJP and Congress, has so far not found resounding support for his “Jan Vikalp Morcha” as yet.

Shankarsinh had walked out of Congress in July along with 13 rebel legislators. Other than Shankarsinh and his son, all the remaining defecting legislators have joined BJP. “They have gone to BJP on their own volition. Mahendrasinh (Vaghela’s son) to is independent,” Shankarsinh had said earlier.

Giving rationale of his son not joining the BJP, Shankarsinh on Saturday said that his son does not want any allegations about Jan Vikalp being B-team of BJP. “He (Mahendrasinh) has come and told me that he will not contest elections as a BJP candidate. He has been to Assembly twice and is a seasoned political leader. I do not have to spoon feed him,” Shankarsinh Vaghela told media persons in Rajkot on Saturday.

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