On his 81st birthday Bapu shares :” I am no longer part of the CM face rat race. I do not qualify for the state legislative assembly, nor do I wish to contest general elections.”
Born in Gandhinagar district’s Vasan village on 21st July 1940, Shankar Sinh Vaghela who holds a postgraduate degree, the octogenarian fondly known as Shankar Sinh Vaghela Bapu, has held stellar chairs not only in the state but also at National Political level..
A political legend who has enjoyed success as a Union Minister and as the CM of Gujarat, doesn’t want to speak about his glorious past instead on his 81st birthday, he wishes to share his vision for the days to come.
Here is an excerpt from Shankar Sinh Bapu’s conversation with the VoI team.
Speaking the uncommon, Bapu started the conversation saying he can visualise the downfall of BJP especially in the forthcoming Gujarat State Assembly Elections. He further added that not only in Gujarat but states like Uttar Pradesh will also slip away from the hands of BJP. The family believe the presence or the absence of a strong opposition will now make no difference because the change will now be Brought by the people. In spite of spending obscene amounts of money BJP will not get the result it has desired. Sharing his concern over the internal politics of the opposition he says they (the opposition) haven’t still fully known the BJP.
75% of people do not vote for a single person instead they vote for a party, shared the octogenarian adding only in exceptional cases it may so happen that a Chief Minister’s son may win an election only because of his lineage. Otherwise voting in India happens only keeping in mind the party.
At a time when other parties like AAP, TMC, BSP, SP are trying to make their way into the politics of Gujarat, Shankar Sinh Bapu believes that no can become a brand overnight. Apart from time – money – fame, one needs to be a brand to be successful. And he sidelined these parties by saying that the final showdown will always happen between BJP and the Congress.. With BJP playing the communal card very strongly, this is the time Congress needs to to approach the people with BJP’s failures like quit pandemic mis – management and burning price rise.
Away from active politics, Shankar Sinh Bapu’s first reaction on asking a question about his role was – “I am no longer part of the CM face rat race. I do not qualify for the state legislative assembly, nor do I wish to contest general elections.” But he was quick to add with confidence that if the Congress approaches me for help to form a government then Gujarat state assembly will not have the BJP government in or before 2022. He further hinted about Gujarat state assembly going into election earlier than its scheduled time.
On being asked about the Patidar Controversy, Shankar Sinh Bapu announced it to be in the favour of the Congress.. When asked about his friendly terms with the Congress leaders he smiled and said that he is in touch with the local leaders though he is not in touch with the Congress party high command or anyone from the Gandhi family.
“What if they (High Command) try to reach out to you for the same matter. Do you ever expect such an event? ” to which Vaghela Bapu answered with a symbolic laughter, “Expectation are the root cause of pain. But expectations are very natural when it comes to politics.”
Shankar Singh Vaghela has held various leadership positions with various parties and on asking about his plans to join the BJP he refutes the same by saying,” I cannot even dream about it. It is a party that has betrayed the people. “
Bapu’s political life has been no less than a roller coaster ride. Yet till today his political status is so tall that his presence cannot be neglected especially during elections in Gujarat. Everyone has their eyes on him and what shall be his next step.. bidding goodbye to Congress he joined hands with the NCP and now formally not been associated with any party, his name was associated with the farmer leader Rakesh Tikat, news of which kept the Gujarat political environment abuzz.