A day after he “unfollowed” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other party colleagues on Twitter, leader of the Opposition in Gujarat Shankersinh Vaghela on Monday said he would not be joining the ruling BJP. “I am not going to join BJP. I am in Congress and I will remain in Congress,” he told reporters at his Gandhinagar residence.
Responding to questions on deleting anti-BJP tweets after unfollowing Rahul, he said: “I don’t want any negativity about anybody. And hence, I asked (the social media manager) to delete all negative things from my Twitter account.” “Campaigns like ‘Bapu for CM’ on Twitter were creating a lot of disinformation and suspicion, hence, I decided to unfollow everybody,” Vaghela said.
There have been rumours of a rift between Vaghela and Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki over the issue of chief ministerial candidate of the party. Last month, during a meeting at Vaghela’s residence in Gandhinagar, a section of Congress MLAs had demanded that the party name him its CM nominee. Solanki, so far, has maintained that the CM nominee will be picked by the party high command. Vaghela on Monday reiterated that he was in no race to become Congress’s chief ministerial face, but admitted to writing to the party high command that it should declare a CM candidate ahead of the Assembly elections to give a “tough fight to BJP”.
Asked if Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor Ahmed Patel be projected as party’s CM face, he said, “Ahmed Patel is a senior leader. Why draw his name in controversy?” On reports of differences with Solanki, Vaghela said, “There are no differences between us. The party will fight the assembly elections under the leadership of Solanki. Blackmailing and bargaining are not in my nature.” He, however, did not comment on whether he would fight the Assembly polls.