Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela today said that tomorrow’s meeting of his supporters, being seen as a show of strength ahead of Gujarat elections, would be held as announced earlier. Vaghela — who has been sulking after Congress refused to give him a free hand for the election campaign — had said on Tuesday that he will hold a meeting of his supporters to decide “future course of action”. Subsequently, the party high command called him to Delhi, where he met Ahmed Patel yesterday, and also “spoke” to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi. “Our meeting is on. My supporters wanted me to discuss the future course of action regarding the situation in Congress when elections are approaching,” Vaghela said today.
“Capacity of the hall in Gandhinagar where the meeting will be held is 1,500. So it can not be called a show of strength,” he said.
Vaghela was speaking to reporters after attending an election-related meeting called by the state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki and the party in-charge for Gujarat, Ashok Gehlot, here. About his Delhi visit, Vaghela said, “I met Ahmed Patel and also spoke to Sonia Gandhi.” He did not clarify if he met Sonia Gandhi or only spoke with her on phone. His announcement of a meeting of supporters has created a flutter as it is being seen as an open defiance of the party high command. After his Delhi visit, speculation was rife that he had called off tomorrow’s meeting.
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Asked what he thought about tomorrow’s meeting called by Vaghela, Solanki said, “There is nothing wrong if party workers want to meet their leader. “I believe that media is too much worried about Congress. I think you should focus on BJP. I can see how BJP leaders are salivating and hoping to gain something out of this. They want to take advantage of the situation, because they know they are not going to win the polls on their own,” Solanki said, talking to reporters after today’s meeting. Gehlot refused to comment on the issue.