Updated: September 19, 2017 8:27:38 pm
Just a couple of months ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections, veteran political leader Shankersinh Vaghela —who quit the Congress party in July this year — launched a new “political front” on Tuesday and presented a political alternative which according to him was “anti-Congress and anti-BJP.”
On Tuesday, announcing the formation a third political alternative in the state, Vaghela said, “This is not a party, but a political front like the UPA and the NDA… This is not BJP’s “B” team. This is not match-fixing. While the Congress has no chance (of forming the government), the BJP is facing anti-incumbency. The issues we will be fighting for are all those against the (BJP) government.
Jan Vikalp, which the leader said was “people’s alternative” in Gujarat, will be contesting on all the 182 seats and will fight on 20 different issues including those related to women, GST and unemployment. Vaghela also said that parties like AAP, NCP and others are welcome to join the new front. “We will be launching our campaign from September 21 from Ambaji temple and we will be going around in the state trying to tell people about the new political front. I will not beg for votes. If people want to solve their problems then we are an option,” said Vaghela who had cast his vote for a BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections conducted in Gujarat on August 8.
“Our campaign will be a positive one. We will not be making any personal attacks, be the BJP or the Congress party. But we will surely criticise the present government and rival parties,” he added. According to him, the present BJP government in Gujarat lacked the “human touch”.
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During this interaction with mediapersons, Vaghela also remembered how the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had presented an alternative. “Delhi is a good example, People came together and formed a government. A third front is a possibility in Gujarat too,” Vaghela said adding that he offered to support Jan Vikalp after a group of youngsters and professionals approached him after conducting a social media survey that revealed that majority of the people were unhappy with the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress party and were searching an third option.
“It is a myth that a third front will not work in Gujarat,” Vaghela said narrating how he had presented a political alternative in 1996-97 and had successfully run the government for one year. Vaghela had broken away from the BJP, formed his own party named Rashtriya Janta Party (RJP) and had become the chief minister with the support of Congress in 1996. RJP later was merged with the Congress.
Vaghela however made it clear that he himself will not be fighting elections in Gujarat. However, he evaded a question when asked if he would consider becoming the chief minister if his front is voted to power.
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