Former Gujarat CM Shankersinh Vaghela joins NCP
Shankersinh Vaghel is a prominent OBC leader of Gujarat, who began his political career with the BJP. He was also in the Congress and served as Textile Minister in the Manmohan Singh government.india Updated: Jan 29, 2019 15:41 IST
Former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday in presence of party chief Sharad Pawar.
Vaghela was part of the Congress and the BJP in his earlier stints. His entry into the NCP can lead to a three-way fight in some seats in Gujarat in 2019 Lok Sabha elections if the Sharad Pawar led outfit doesn’t opt for a pre-poll tie-up with the Congress. Gujarat has 26 Lok Sabha seats and BJP won all of them in 2014.
Vaghela had left the Congress before the 2017 state assembly polls. He and a few MLAs supporting him voted against Congress’s Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha polls and backed BJP nominee Balwantsinh Rajput.
Vaghela and put up independent candidates in the state assembly elections held in December 2017. All his candidates had lost.
Recently, Vaghela had declared that he will fight for removal of the BJP-led government at the Centre in 2019.
In 2017, the Congress and the NCP had fought assembly elections separately. The NCP was able to win just one seat in the 182-member assembly.
The 78-year-old Vaghela is a prominent OBC leader of Gujarat, who began his political career with the BJP.
After the BJP came to power in 1995 in Gujarat and chose to make Keshubhai Patel chief minister instead of him, Vaghela engineered a split in the saffron outfit and became the CM in 1996 with outside support of the Congress.
Later, he joined the Congress and served as Textile Minister in the Manmohan Singh government.
While in the Congress, he also served as its state unit president and Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat assembly.
First Published: Jan 29, 2019 15:41 IST