The 77 MLAs of the Congress on Wednesday passed a unanimous resolution authorising party president Rahul Gandhi to decide the next Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Assembly. The resolution, which was moved by former LoP Mohansinh Rathwa, was passed by voice vote in presence of party observers — Ashok Gehlot and Jitendra Singh — and state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki.
“A one-to-one meeting with the MLAs will be held on Thursday and the name of LoP and other office-bearers will be announced after consultation with the central leadership of the party the same evening,” said spokesperson Manish Doshi.
Meanwhile, four-time MLA and Koli leader Kunvarji Bavaliya has reportedly staked claim for the LoP post. “Kolis account for 27 per cent of the 52 percent of OBC population in the state. Hence, my claim for LoP is quite natural. I am also among the senior most MLAs in the party,” Bavaliya reportedly told party observers.
Three-time MLA Paresh Dhanani, who has emerged as the frontrunner for the post, reportedly told observers that he “will work as a team member with anyone who is assigned the responsibility of LoP’’. Dhanani is credited for mobilising the Patidars in Saurashtra belt. Rathwa, who had held the post earlier, reportedly said: “I will accept whatever decision is taken by the party.”