BJP to snap last link with Vaghela

State BJP’s original home at Khadia,where it was born as the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS),still has strings attached to Shankersinh Vaghela — the man leading the Congress campaign in the 2012 Assembly elections against the BJP.

Written by Leena Misra | Ahmedabad | Published: July 13, 2012 5:22 am

State BJP’s original home at Khadia,where it was born as the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS),still has strings attached to Shankersinh Vaghela — the man leading the Congress campaign in the 2012 Assembly elections against the BJP. Vaghela,apparently,continues to be a trustee in the Vasant Gajendragadkar Smarak Trust earlier run from a building in the Khadia area.

He also remained a trustee in the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Trust,which runs the BJP headquarters at Khanpur,long after he joined the Congress.

“Why Deendayal Bhavan,even the Jan Sangh office is in my name. I told them (BJP) to send me whatever papers remain to be transferred,even in the Deendayal Bhavan case,and I will sign them,” Vaghela told The Indian Express on Wednesday.

The BJP is currently building a swanky new multi-storied office at Koba,Gandhinagar,where it eventually plans to move. These issues surfaced when the transfer plans were being discussed.

Vaghela recalls how he began as a BJS worker to find a place at Khadia with his Sangh mentor Vasant Gajendragadkar. They operated from a small room belonging to a newspaper owner,in Golwad area of Khadia. “Only yesterday they (BJP) came to get the trusteeship (of Khadia) transferred from my name,” said Vaghela,who also founded the BJP headquarters at Khanpur in 1984,when Jan Sangh was disbanded.

“This office has been very lucky for the BJP,” said Vaghela,who recalled buying it as a ground floor apartment from a Parsi when he was the state unit president of the BJP. He remembers how he often dined with Muslims since Khanpur is a minority dominated area. “The kitchen of the house had a blue coloured stone embedded in the walls. The Parsi owner told me never to remove that holy stone whatever happens,because it would bring luck.” He then bought the building adjoining it,and expanded.

“They (BJP) were wondering who would go to Bapu (Vaghela) to get all this signed. I told them that I had no fight in principle with the BJP. I was trustee and now hands have changed…,” he said.

State unit treasurer of the BJP Surendra Patel,who is also a member in the Vasant Smarak Trust that ran the Khadia office,said,“We passed a resolution long back to transfer the trusteeship.”

On the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Bhavan,he said,“Vaghela had resigned from the trust soon after he launched the RJP. We will complete the formalities if any still remain.”

Patel said that in a recent meeting it was decided that the party would move headquarters to Koba after the Assembly elections and turn Khanpur into a city office.

The office,situated in the JP Chowk area of Khanpur where the BJP rose from scratch to the most powerful party over the last 15 years in Gujarat,is nearly abandoned. “Only Purushottam Rupala used to come here once a week as state party president,His predecessor Rajendrasinh Rana barely came to this office,” said a top office-bearer,adding even current party president Ranchchod Faldu barely visits the office.

One of the reasons for this is that the action has shifted to Gandhinagar. “The CM,ministers,Faldu,and almost all the MLAs live in Gandhinagar. They don’t feel the need for coming to the Khanpur office now,” added the leader.

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