Congress may project a CM candidate in Gujarat

Gujarat Congress president has not ruled out the possibility of the party projecting a chief ministerial face in 2017 assembly polls to take on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been in power in the state for nearly two decades.

Claiming that the Congress is well equipped to take on BJP in the prime minister's home state, Solanki dubbed Vijay Rupani as a "rubber stamp" chief minister and claimed the change of guard earlier this year did not help the ruling party which has been grappling with Patel quota and Dalit stirs.

The Congress has not fought elections projecting a chief ministerial candidate in the last 20 years in Gujarat.

With the exit of Modi from Gujarat political scene leaving a leadership vacuum in BJP, Congress is hoping to make a mark in the 2017 elections.

"Though it (the leadership question) will be decided by the high command, after Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, we cannot rule it out. Let's wait and see," Solanki said in an interview.

Congress has named former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit as its chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh.

In a direct attack on Chief Minister Rupani, who replaced Anandiben Patel, Solanki said he is a "rubber stamp of BJP president Amit Shah."

"By changing chief minister,the BJP has lost on both fronts. Replacing a Patel and a woman Chief Minister by Rupani has not impacted the administration in a positive way. Things have gone from bad to worse," he said when asked if the change of guard will prove disadvantageous to Congress.

The Congress, after remaining in Opposition for last 20 years is hoping for a revival as the BJP is facing tough challenges in the form of Patel quota agitation and Dalit protests after the Una flogging incident.

"Gujarat's political scenario has changed due to two agitations - Patel quota movement and Dalit agitation. Come what may, both the communities have decided to defeat BJP in the 2017 elections," Solanki claimed.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel