1. Poll heat rises in Gujarat, Shankersinh Vaghela posters as CM ‘face’ come up, Congress blames BJP

Poll heat rises in Gujarat, Shankersinh Vaghela posters as CM ‘face’ come up, Congress blames BJP

Gujarat will go to polls later this year and Congress is seeking to breach BJP's citadel.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: May 11, 2017 12:00 PM
However, hoardings projecting senior leader Shankersinh Vaghela as chief ministerial candidate have appeared in Vadodara.

Gujarat will go to polls later this year and Congress is seeking to breach BJP’s citadel. The Congress’ newly-appointed state in-charge Ashok Gehlot has categorically ruled out projecting any chief ministerial candidate in Gujarat in run up to the state assembly elections. However, hoardings projecting senior leader Shankersinh Vaghela as chief ministerial candidate have appeared in Vadodara. Vaghela has sought to downplay the development alleging it has been done by BJP. He also demanded a probe into the matter, The Indian Express report says. BJP, however, rejected the allegations.

The hoardings in Gujarati allegedly appeared on Tuesday. It read “Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat, Be it the BJP or the Congress, it will be Bapu’s (Vaghela) Government in 2017 Gujarat Vidhan Sabha. Bapu’s government for the welfare of all,” say the hoardings, signed off by “Well-wishers, We Proud Gujaratis”, as per PTI report.

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According to The Indian Express report, Congress spokesperson Nilesh Brahmbhatt said, “We found out that the hoardings were put up by a local contractor. When we approached him, he showed us a letter of instruction sent to him by the outfit, seeking that the hoardings be put up at different places in the city. When we tried to find out about the people running this outfit, we were unable to track any of them. We feel it is a deceptive front of the BJP.”

Vadodara city BJP president and MP, Ranjan Bhatt, said: “No BJP person can do such things. This is not the culture of our party workers, it might be someone from their own party (the Congress) who is behind this act.”

Notably, Congress is gearing up to contest elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state where it is out of power for over two decades. Gehlot has attended the executive committee meeting of the state Congress along with senior leader Ahmed Patel. It has been learned that ahead of the elections, a fierce race has started between the state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki and the leader of opposition in the Assembly Shankarsinh Vaghela to become the party’s CM face, the PTI report says.

But Gehlot said, “We are out of power in the state for the last 22 years. There is speculation in the media on who will be declared the chief ministerial candidate,” Gehlot said at the executive committee meeting. “Let us unitedly capture the power and then the high command will decide who will be the chief minister,” he said. “If we cannot unite after being out of power for 22 years, when will we be united? Nobody should talk about naming of chief ministerial candidate. First you all should work together to get us back to power,” he said, the PTI report says.

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