Two days after quitting the Congress, veteran leader and former Chief Minister of Gujarat Shankersinh Vaghela on Sunday resigned as the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly. Vaghela send his resignation letter to party president Sonia Gandhi.
Vaghela, in his resignation letter alleged that some party leaders were conspiring against him ahead of the Assembly polls and this forced him to take such a decision. The elections are expected to take place in the state in December.
The former Chief Minister had quit the party at a public gathering of his supporters on his 77th birthday on July 21. He joined the Congress in 1998 and claimed that just like some party leaders conspired against him in 2009, when he lost Godhara (Panchmahal) Lok Sabha seat, similar attempts were made to oust him from the party in recent times.
Vaghela in his letter said, “As I can see right now that once again history is repeating itself, as a well-planned conspiracy within the party is at work for ousting me during the forthcoming elections. Hence, I strongly feel that I should not remain in the party at the cost of my dignity and self-respect.”
Vaghela said since he has also decided to resign as the sitting Congress MLA of Kapadwanj seat, he will submit his resignation to the Gujarat Assembly speaker in the coming days. In his ‘farewell’ speech on Friday, Vaghela announced he would resign as MLA on August 15, after the Rajya Sabha polls, to be held on August 8.
In the letter, Vaghela thanked Gandhi for making him Union minister in the UPA-1 government. Venting his anger on the Congress, Vaghela claimed he was left with no other option but to resign as his suggestions for the upcoming Assembly polls were not accepted.
On Friday, the former RSS leader, who left the BJP 20 years ago and later joined the Congress, also announced that he will not join any political party, not even the BJP. Though he refused to divulge details about his future plans, he maintained he is not retiring from public life.
Vaghela had been at loggerheads with the Congress leadership for quite some time over his demand that he be projected as the chief ministerial face in the poll-bound state. He had been contending that if he was projected as the CM candidate in the polls, the party would be able to take on the BJP effectively in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.
Vaghela’s move comes close on the heels of the Congress failing to muster its entire strength in the presidential election held on July 17. Congress-backed candidate Meira Kumar could garner only 49 votes against the party’s strength of 57 in the state assembly.
With PTI inputs.