Gujarat Elections 2017: Congress set to back Ahmed Patel for RS seat as Shankarsinh Vaghela loses CM battle

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Ahmedabad: Senior Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela will not be projected as the chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Gujarat elections, senior Congress leaders revealed on May 22. The reason behind this, they say, is Vaghela’s ‘anti-party’ activities that could have hampered senior member Ahmed Patel’s fifth consecutive term in the Rajya Sabha.
Party sources also indicated that Vaghela was upping the antenna due to the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections as it entails the threat of cross-voting. However, they feel that he won’t be able to do much and cross-voting, if it happens, would be negligible.
Patel, the Political Secretary to the Congress President Sonia Gandhi, is a four-time Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat. If he gets nominated for the fifth time, then he will have to get re-elected from Gujarat itself where Vaghela is trying to pressurize the Central leadership to become the face of the Congress campaign.
Sources within the party also told DNA that unlike Punjab’s Amrinder Singh and Himachal Pradesh’s Veerbhadra Singh, who expressed dissatisfaction for not being projected as chief ministerial candidates and were subsequently named, the case was different when it came to Vaghela.
“Vaghela crossed the line by touching base with BJP leaders. We are of the view that he has not received solid backing from the BJP, but has been asked to split the Congress before the assembly elections,” said a senior Congress leader on condition of anonymity, adding that both Amrindar and Veerbhadra enjoyed considerable control of the party and CLP units despite being out of power and were given command of the election process.
Of late, Vaghela has shown hints displeasure by not following Congress leaders on social media, and going on leave for personal reasons.

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