All’s Not Well Within Congress As Party Joins Hands With AAP In Gujarat  - Vibes Of India

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All’s Not Well Within Congress As Party Joins Hands With AAP In Gujarat 

| Updated: March 10, 2024 17:36

Though the Congress has joined hands with the AAP in Gujarat for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the marriage of convenience is far from a comfortable seat sharing arrangement. The Congress high-command accommodating AAP leaders has not gone down too well with many state leaders of the Congress. 

The unease was quite visible as Rahul Gandhi addressed people at Netrang in Gujarat’s Bharuch. AAP workers were seen gathered with their yellow and blue party flags around a cutout of Rahul Gandhi as Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra proceeded from Bodali in Chhota Udepur to Netrang via Rajpipla. 

However, late Congress veteran Ahmed Patel’s children Faisal Patel and Mumtaz Siddiqui remained conspicuous by their absence. Both had earlier openly expressed their disappointment over AAP Dediapada MLA and party’s Gujarat working president Chaitar Vasava contesting from Bharuch, their father’s stronghold, as part of the INDIA seat-sharing deal for the coming Lok Sabha elections. 

On Thursday, when the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra entered Jhalod in Dahod district, Gandhi did not mention AAP Gujarat chief Isudan Gadhvi and national joint secretary Gopal Italia. The on-ground comradeship was also amiss on the bright red jeep that Rahul Gandhi rode on Saturday. Even as Chaitar stood behind Gandhi, the Congress MP did not acknowledge him in public while he interacted with locals in Netrang. Bharuch district Congress unit chief Rajendrasinh Rana was also on the jeep with Chaitar but the two leaders did not exchange even a glance. 

In his pitch to the crowd to bring back Congress to power, Gandhi made no mention of ally AAP or its Lok Sabha candidate standing by his side. 

Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee chief Shaktisinh Gohil has said, “We are soldiers of the party and we have accepted the decision of our party and we will follow the decision… The BJP was the party that said that the father-daughter duo (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti) of the PDP had ruined Kashmir but when the opportunity came, the BJP first entered into an alliance with Mufti Mohammad and then with Mehbooba Mufti… We will remain the big brother (to AAP) in Gujarat.” 

Earlier in Bodeli, Congress leader Arjun Rathwa and AAP leader Radhika Rathwa were seen giving joint interviews about the INDIA bloc. Both maintained that they were “following the decision” of their respective party high commands. Radhika Rathwa is a former Congress leader and daughter of former Congress MP Amarsinh Rathwa, who switched over to the AAP ahead of the 2022 assembly polls and even contested the Pavi Jetpur constituency. 

Arjun Rathwa, who was among the first few members of the AAP in Gujarat, recently switched over to the Congress citing a “lack of leadership and direction in AAP”.  

“The party high command has made the decision, and we will abide by it. While the Congress will campaign for our leaders– Chaitar Vasava in Bharuch and Umesh Makwana in Bhavnagar — the AAP workers will also join the Congress in its campaign in the remaining 24 seats of Gujarat,” Radhika Rathwa said. 

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