Internal differences in Congress’s Gujarat unit came to the fore on Thursday when AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil offered to resign from a key panel tasked with collecting feedback on the party’s position at the grassroots in Kutch, Surendranagar, Rajkot, Morbi and Jamnagar districts ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections.
In a letter to Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki, Gohil, MLA from Abdasa, said, “Though I am ready to accept any responsibility as a party worker, I request you to accept my resignation from this special responsibility.” Solanki, so far, has not accepted the resignation.
Gohil’s request for resignation came in the wake of former MP Kunvarji Bavalia complaining that he had been ignored and not included in the key committee. Bavalia, a prominent Congress leader in Rajkot district, belongs to politically influential Koli-Patel community. On Wednesday, former MP Jagdish Thakor had also stepped down from party posts.
On whether he would fight the Assembly polls, Thakor had told The Indian Express: “I made it very clear to state party chief Bharatsinh Solanki and the leader of Opposition in the Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela that I will not fight elections as long as the duo — Solanki and Vaghela — are at the helm of affairs in the party.” Gohil, on the other hand said, that it would be better that the party organisation and elections “were handled directly by the state party president (Solanki) and the leader of opposition (Vaghela) themselves”.
Stating that the people were “highly disappointed from BJP’s rule and were looking towards Congress with high hope”, Gohil said, “It is the responsibility of the party leaders, workers and well-wishers to work in the interest of the party keeping their personal ego aside.”
Asked about Thakor’s resignation and grievances of Bavaliya, Solanki said, “They are our senior leaders. They are responsible leaders. They are with the party. The focus of all the party leaders is to win the 2017 Assembly elections’’. About Gohil’s letter, he said : “The content of Gohil’s letter is very positive and in favour of the party.”
The state Congress office witnessed a ruckus on Wednesday evening, with heated exchange of words between Seva Dal workers and over 300 supporters of former Congress MP Jagdish Thakor. Thakor’s supporters from Patan entered the party office after breaking the lock at the main entrance. They wanted to meet state party chief Bharatsinh Solanki to register their grievances and submit their resignations from various party posts in support of Thakore, who resigned Tuesday from all party posts, owing to differences with Solanki on certain issues.
As Solanki had already left the office, they raised slogans in favour of Thakor. Party’s vice-president Maulin Vaishnav, who was in the office, tried to pacify them and also collected their resignation letters.
While Solanki remained unavailable for comment, Vaishnav said, “I met them and took their resignations from them. They had come in support of former Thakor who is reportedly feeling dissatisfied due to the reasons known to him.” “It is the internal matter of the party and we will sort it out in a day or two,” said Vaishnav.