Two days after he announced his decision to quit the Congress, Shankersinh Vaghela on Saturday released the resignation letter sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. In the three-page letter, dated July 22, Vaghela wrote that he was quitting the Congress “with a heavy heart”.
“I told all those leaders and state leaders and some other senior colleagues in the matter that I will resign from the party and not joining BJP. I feel sorry for this decision taken with a heavy heart (sic),” the letter stated. He wrote that beside resigning from the post of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader, he felt morally bound to resign as an MLA of Kapadwanj, adding that he would submit his resignation to the Speaker as per the statutory provision.
Alleging that the party did not respond positively to the proposals which he had given to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and senior leaders like Ahmed Patel and Ashok Gehlot, Vaghela wrote that he strongly felt that he “would not remain in party at the cost of my dignity and self-respect”. Stating that he could now see history repeating itself with “a well planned conspiracy to oust me during the forthcoming Assembly elections (in Gujarat)”, the 77-year-old politician, who was expelled from the BJP in 1996 and later went on to join the Congress, drew attention of Sonia Gandhi to factors responsible for his “hard decision”.
Narrating his political innings in the Congress, he narrated how he kept quiet when the party decided to change his constituency, how some senior party leaders sabotaged his victory and questioned his candidature against senior BJP leader L K Advani in Gandhinagar in 1999 and in 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He also wished Rahul and Sonia. “I wish Rahulji a successful political life as the charismatic and exuberant leader inheriting the legacy of former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and you as a proud mother tyagmurti (symbol of sacrifice),” he wrote.
Vaghela also thanked Ahmed Patel, the political secretary of Sonia and Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, for lending him support and giving “dignified position and graceful space” within the party. He also thanked his supporters, party members and voters of Kapadvanj for their “unconditional love, support and respect”.