The Gujarat Congress leadership on Saturday called a live poll on social media in favour of projecting Leader of the Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela as the party’s chief ministerial face ahead of the Assembly elections as “prank”, even as such a speculation gained ground with his visit to Delhi to meet central leaders.
Since October 2016, a Facebook Fan page and a Twitter Handle @Bapu4GujaratCM have been doing the rounds on social media and pitching Vaghela as CM face for Gujarat polls, even as his social media manager denied that the accounts were floated by the leader.
The Twitter handle pitching Vaghela as CM face went live on Saturday and people reacted to the post. Social media expert Parthesh Patel, who manages Vaghela’s IT and social media accounts, said that the page and accounts may have been mounted by the leader’s supporters and were unverified, and had not been floated by the leader who was in Delhi on Saturday.
GPCC president Bharatsinh Solanki dismissed the live poll on a fan page as a prank and said, “Why don’t you ask Shankersinhji about this? He is a very senior leader and such a prank is the creation of the media. No Congress leader will say anything against the party high command.” When asked if the elected MLAs within the party were voicing their opinion in favour of having Vaghela as the Congress’ CM face, Solanki said, “It is completely untrue.”
Sources also added that Vaghela’s son Mahendrasinh is recently said to have held a closed door meet with NCP leader Praful Patel. However, Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi on Saturday said that the party would launch Jan Sammelan rallies across the state and kickstart the election work in the state.
Doshi said the party leaders would begin by vetting close to 1,540 candidates who had sought tickets under Congress to contest the polls. “These rumours have been spread by BJP,” he added.