Ahmedabad, Sep 14 (IANS) Gujarat Congress President Bharatsinh Solanki and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela on Wednesday flayed party leaders who aired their discontent in public and called for a united fight to ensure the Congress returned to power in the state in 2017.
They also said that indiscipline would not be tolerated as the opposition party prepared for the 2017 assembly elections.
Addressing a huge gathering of party workers from north Gujarat and Saurashtra at the party headquarters here, Solanki and Vaghela said all sections of people, especially the Patidars, in Gujarat were fed up of the “corruption and inefficient” rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party and it was time for everyone to bury the hatchet to ensure Congress returns to power in the state.
“The smallest party member to the seniormost leader in the Congress has the right to give vent to his feelings within the family but those trying to air dissent in public would be strictly dealt with,” Solanki asserted.
He reminded party workers of the sweeping victory of the Congress during the December-January elections to the local government bodies and said the wind was palpably blowing in favour of the Congress and hence everyone should work in tandem.
The state Congress President was referring to senior leaders such as All India Congress Committee spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil, former MPs Jagdish Thakor and Kunwaji Bavalia who had publicly voiced their opposition to his decisions as part of the preparations for elections.
Gohil had refused to take up responsibilities entrusted by Solanki and made this public through his Facebook post and later in a letter to the PCC chief, which too was circulated to the media.
Gohil, an MLA from Abdasa in Kutch, was asked to select party candidates in 27 constituencies in the Saurashtra and Kutch regions.
Indicating that this was not his job, he wrote: “I believe that according to tradition, this responsibility is carried out under the leadership of the state party President and Leader of the Opposition. I think it would be better and welcome if this practice continues.”
Gohil added: “I would like to offer my honest and dedicated services to the party as its worker and request you to accept my resignation from the special responsibility entrusted to me.”
This came soon after Thakor and Bavalia raised similar objections against Solanki’s decision to hand over responsibilities to a section of party leaders.
Thakor had resigned from the core committee of the Gujarat Congress. Both Thakor and Bavalia said their communities had found no representation.
A former Lok Sabha member, Thakor comes from the OBC Thakor community with good presence in north Gujarat, while Bavalia represents the Koli community with good presence in Saurashtra region.
Several Thakor and Bavalia supporters began announcing their resignations from party positions in Rajkot and Patan.
Vaghela too spoke strongly in favour of Solanki, saying that “Bharatsinh has not chosen on his own to become the state Congress President. He has been entrusted the responsibility.”
Vaghela, a former PCC chief, said: “Bharatsinh has been given the steering wheel to drive the Congress to Gandhinagar in 2017 and all differences should be buried.”
He said Solanki was working for the victory of the party in 2017 and everybody should join hands to “throw out the BJP”.