Vaghela insists he is with Cong, to announce plans on June 24

Virendra Pandit Gandhinagar | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 20, 2017

Shankersinh Vaghela

Gujarat leader says he will not return to the BJP; has no desire to be CM again

Those who claim to know Shankersinh Vaghela do not exactly know him, goes the saying in Gujarat.

The Gujarat politician proved this yet again, on Tuesday.

Much to the chagrin of his Congress party, and the glee of his former party, the BJP, Vaghela said he would take a call on his future course of action on Saturday, June 24. The announcement follows months of strong rumours that the Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly would quit the Congress.

However, at the press conference on Tuesday when Vaghela made the announcement, the 77-year-old former State Chief Minister insisted that he continued to be with the Congress and that he had no intentions of joining the BJP. Vaghela also claimed he had no intentions of becoming Chief Minister again.

“My friends are asking me why this uncertainty?”

And then he unveiled his plans: after paying obeisance to Lord Jagannath on June 24, he will attend a meeting of his “Congress supporters” at Gandhinagar, hold deliberations with them and “guided by their advice”, take a decision on his political future.

In a long statement, he asserted that he was not after power, narrating how he had worked with the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh and its successor, the BJP, and how he formed the Rashtriya Janta Party (RJP).

“[It was because] I wanted to prevent division of Congress votes, [that] I joined this party,” he claimed, and reiterated that he did not want to become the CM again. “I have already enjoyed all possible posts and power. All I want is to see the Congress return to power. I’m not interested in power equations or what happens thereafter.”

Vaghela also criticised the media for what he called “character assassination”. “The Fourth Pillar has no such right.”

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Published on June 20, 2017
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