Big jolt to Congress ahead of polls; senior Gujarat leader Vijay Kella quits, says workers being ignored by Rahul

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Ahmedabad | Updated: November 15, 2017 7:43:17 PM

A senior Gujarat Congress leader today resigned, apparently miffed over the party giving prominence to a group of caste and community leaders over loyal workers who he claimed were being "ignored".

Congress, Vijay Kella, Gujarat Congress, Vijay Kella resigns, Hardik Patel, Rahul Gandhi , Patidar quota stir, Jignesh Mevani, KHAMCongress is waging its ?last fight for existence? in the state by setting aside its ?ideology and party loyalists?. (PTI)

A senior Gujarat Congress leader today resigned, apparently miffed over the party giving prominence to a group of caste and community leaders over loyal workers who he claimed were being “ignored”. Vijay Kella, chairman of the Gujarat Congress’ relief committee, said party vice-president Rahul Gandhi meets only a handful of people and does not take along workers with him. The committee looks after relief operations during floods and other disasters. Kella, who in the past unsuccessfully fought election from the Maninagar assembly segment, sent his resignation letter to Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki. Kella said he was not happy with the way three leaders — Patidar quota stir spearhead Hardik Patel, OBC leader Alpesh Thakor and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani — were being given prominence by the opposition party ahead of the next month’s assembly polls.

He said many loyal party workers were being “ignored” and these three leaders being given prominence. “(Bharatsinh) Solanki does not understand anything and Rahul Gandhi does not meet party workers. He meets only a handful of people. He should have taken all party workers together rather than giving prominence to Patel, Mevani and Thakor and mentioning them in his speeches,” Kella told PTI. Asked about his future plans, Kella told the media that he is likely to join the BJP in the next few days. In his letter, Kella said he has been associated with the Congress since the last 38 years. He said the Congress is waging its “last fight for existence” in the state by setting aside its “ideology and party loyalists”.

“(Former Congress chief minister) Madhavsinh Solanki’s KHAM (Kshatriya-Harijan-Adivasi-Muslim) theory had damaged the party. Today, Gujarat cannot be won by revisiting the same theory,” he said in his resignation letter. The KHAM formula, successfully applied by Solanki, revolved around wooing Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim community members to come to power.

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