Former Union minister Bharatsinh Solanki was on Sunday appointed as the new president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) by the party president Sonia Gandhi. Solanki has replaced Arjun Modhwadia under whose leadership the party had lost the 2012 Gujarat Assembly and 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat.
GPCC spokesperson, Manish Doshi, said that the decision was declared by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and Gujarat in-charge, Gurudas Kamat.
This will be Solanki’s second term as the GPCC president. Earlier, he served as the GPCC president between 2006 and 08. Solanki is son of former Gujarat chief minister and veteran Congressman, Madhavsinh Solanki. And he was Union Minister of state in the last two Congress-led UPA governments. As MoS in the two UPA governments, he handled the portfolio of Power, Railways and Drinking Water & Sanitation.
A two-time Member of Parliament and four time Member of Legislative Assembly, Solanki has a tough task ahead to revive the subdued Congress party in the state. In fact, the party has been out of power in Gujarat for the past more than two decades.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party hit all-time low performance when it lost all 26 Lok Sabha seats from Gujarat to the BJP. Then, Solanki had also lost from the Anand constituency, considered to be the Congress bastion in the central Gujarat.
In 2013, following the drubbing in the 2012 Assembly elections, the then GPCC president Arjun Modhwadia had tendered his resignation from the post which was kept in abeyance. Despite reverses in 2012 Assembly elections, Modhwadia was given a second chance to lead the party in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but he failed to ensure victory for the party even on a single seat in the state. Following this, Modhwadia had again tendered his resignation from the post.
And it is now that the Congress president has appointed a new Congress president in the state.