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Arjun Embraces Ram In Gujarat

| Updated: March 4, 2024 20:11

Former Congress president and CLP leader Arjun Modhvadia resigns from Congress to join BJP

In a double shock to the Congress in Gujarat, two senior party leaders resigned. Porbandar MLA Arjun Modhwadia, who was the former State Congress president and a former Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly resigned from his alma mater today evening. Earlier in the day, Ambarish Der, a former MLA put in his papers. Both Modhvadia and Der resigned claiming they were hurt at Congress’ decision to decline the invitation for the Ram Mandir Pran Pratistha Mahotsav in Ayodhya by the Central Party leadership. Both of them had posted their displeasure on X in January. Both are slated to join the BJP, most probably tomorrow. Both of them belong to the OBC segment. Ambarish Der was one of the seven working presidents of Gujarat Congress. He represented Rajula constituency from 2017 to 2022.

Like Mr. Der, in his letter to the Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Mr. Modhwadia cited the party leadership’s decision to decline the invitation to attend the Ram Temple consecration ceremony as the reason behind his resignation. He said that the party’s decision “hurt the sentiments of the people of Bharat”. “Congress as a party failed to assess the sentiments of the people,” he added.

Mr. Modhwadia also pointed to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s attempt “to create ruckus in Assam which further angered our party cadres and citizens of Bharat.” On January 22, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the consecration ceremony at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, high drama prevailed in Assam when Mr. Gandhi and his supporters were stopped by the police in Nagaon district, on the way to Batadrava Than.

Modhwadia and Der are both successful businessmen and some BJP leaders claimed to  Vibes of India that “their decision to quit Congress has more to do with business interests than anything else”. However, that the Congress party had been ignoring Modhwadia cannot be denied. Several people junior to him have been appointed as secretaries of various States by the Party High Command but Arjunbhai was not given any position according to his stature. BJP sources claim that both Modhvadia and Der will contest Assembly by elections from Porbandar and Rajula respectively in the coming months. Rajula MLA Hira Solanki of BJP is likely to be given a Loksabha ticket from Bhavnagar. He is Koli by caste.

Der may contest election on saffron party ticket from the coastal town of Rajula in Amreli district of Saurashtra region.

With Modhvadia and Der’s resignation, the strength of Congress in Gujarat has further nose dived. Now, there are 14 MLAs in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. Before Modhvadia, C J Chavda and Chirag Patel have resigned and joined the BJP. It must be noted that in 2017 and 2024 over a dozen MLAs had quit the Congress.

Arjun Modhvadia was the Leader of the Opposition of the Legislative Assembly from 2004 to 2007 when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was re-elected in 2007 and from 2008 to 2009 he was also the chairman of the media committee and Chief Spokesperson of GPCC. On 2 March 2011, he was appointed as the 27th president of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee. He could not complete his terms both as Congress president and CLP leader.

Also Read: BJP Kicks Off ‘Modi ka Parivar’ Campaign To Counter Lalu Yadav’s ‘Parivarwaad’ Jibe  

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