Senior Congress leader from Gurajat Shankersinh Vaghela on Friday said “Congress party ne mujhe 24 ghante pehle nikal diya yeh soch ke ki pata nahi main kya kehta; Vinaash kal vipreet buddhi (Congress party expelled me 24 hours back thinking of what I could have said; when one’s destruction time is soon to arrive, one thinks unintelligently or negatively.)” Further in his speech, Vaghela said, “Mai apne aap Congress ko apne se mukt karta hoon. I am not going to join any political party. (I make myself free from Congress. I am not going to join any political party.)” Vaghela is likely to keep Congress on toes with his rebellious attitude. “Few days back I met Sonia ji in person, I told her that I will not break her trust by joining BJP,” he added. Vaghela was speaking at his 77th birthday celebration event in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Earlier today Vaghela spoke to media and shared his birthday plans and his expectations from his party colleagues. He said, “Aana hai aaye, nahi aana hai to koi nhi. Party ko right hai apne workers ko rokne ka (If they want to come, they can and if don’t that is fine. Party has right to stop its workers from attending my birthday celebrations.)” Speaking on reports of Congress core committee warning him of action regarding his comments, he said, “Let them do. I will take action, don’t worry. I will speak in details about all issues at 2 pm today. Wait for sometime.”
As per ANI, Vaghela was later spotted offering prayer at Gandhinagar’s Vasaniya Mahadev temple. Even his son Mahender Sinh Vaghela has said that his father will never retire. As per reports, Vaghela had announced a public gathering of his supporters and legislators on his 77th birthday, which he generally keeps the celebrations low key.
Tension within the party saw new highs with as many as 11 Congress lawmakers in Gujarat voting for the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential election, instead of opposition candidate Meira Kumar. As per a report by NDTV, these leaders have said that they supported Vaghela and back his bid to be named as the chief ministerial candidate for the forthcoming Assembly elections. The veteran leader, who has locked horns with party leadership, has been reportedly isolated within the Congress. Vaghela even travelled to the national capital on Thursday to meet party leaders before making any announcement, however due to unknown reasons the meeting could not take place.
Congress leader RS Surjewala while reacting to Shankersinh Vaghela’s comment said, “No action was taken against Shankersingh Vaghela ji nor was he expelled.These are baseless arguments.Its his decision.”