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Rahul Gandhi To Discuss Gujarat State President, Leader Of Opposition Names In Delhi Tomorrow

| Updated: October 22, 2021 21:26

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has organised a meeting to discuss names for the position of Gujarat State President and the Leader of Opposition tomorrow. 

Over 15 congressmen from Gujarat will be flying to Delhi tonight for a meeting with Rahul Gandhi on Friday morning. Rahul Gandhi will be meeting these leaders at around 10 am at his residence.

These leaders are likely to be asked as to why has Congress in Gujarat performing so miserably besides the infighting going in various groups.

Local Congress leaders have been pressing for organisational appointments so that the party can start the preparations for the crucial Assembly polls scheduled for December next year. Earlier Amit Chavda also requested the high command for appointments. 

In June this year, State leaders had requested former president Rahul Gandhi to make the State Party Prez and LoP appointments quickly when he visited Surat in connection with a legal case. In July, More than 12 party members flew to the national capital to request the high command again about appointments of state in-charge, PCC chief and the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly. The appointment of 63-year-old Sharma comes after the demise of former AICC incharge Rajeev Satav on May 15 this year due to illness after Covid- 19 recovery. 

Amit Chavda, Paresh Dhanani, Shailesh Parmar and Rahul Gandhi (L-R)

The contenders for the post of Gujarat Congress President include Hardik Patel, Former Union Minister Arjun Modhwadia and Bharat Solanki. While the contenders for the leader of the opposition are: Amit Chavda, and Shailesh Parmar. Since CLP leader Paresh Dhanani resigned from their posts following the debacle in the local elections but he could also be convinced to resume the post.

The political buzz is Gujarat Congress initially shortlisted six names for the position of Gujarat party president, eventually the names increased to six and the final list had 12 probable candidates for the post of president. 

The post of Gujarat Congress Committee president and that of Opposition leader in the Gujarat Assembly has been lying vacant since March 2019. Even after repeated appeals by party members the high command has not selected the members who will be the face of Congress in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, BJP has done a complete makeover in Gujarat. Along with CM Bhupendra Patel, all the 24 ministers of the new cabinet are fresh faces. This is the first ‘No Repeat’ ministry of India. 

The face of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), Hardik Patel, who joined the Congress in 2019, is leading the race for the top post, claimed various sources. Hardik downplayed the speculation, tweeting, “I refute all the rumours which are making the rounds in the media. We will all work under the leadership of whoever is made GPCC president. We will work together to ensure a change of government in Gujarat”.

Congress high command’s choice for the post is Hardik Patel as he is keen on trying to infuse young blood in the grand old party ahead of the crucial assembly polls due in several states next year. But Congress members don’t seem to be happy with the choice. Two-time Gujarat Congress President Bharat Solanki has openly warned for non-cooperation with Hardik Patel citing that he is “young, immature and has never been an MLA”. Further Solanki claimed “Hardik Patel is too irresponsible to lead Congress in Gujarat.” Around 15 MLAs have also stated their non-cooperation against Patel—if he is appointed the party president.

Regarding the meeting, Senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia said, “Over 15 congressmen from Gujarat will be attending the meeting organised by Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. The primary agenda is to discuss our strategies for 2022 elections and how to strengthen our stand as opposition.”

 The Congress is also facing challenges from AAP in Gujarat and Congress leaders admit that one of the reasons for civic poll losses is these parties which are cutting into Congress votes.

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