Post Rahul Gandhi’s Gujarat visit, the congress party has decided to go full blast with the Patidar card in the Gujarat election. AICC Secretary and MLA from Amreli, Paresh Dhanani is all said to be elevated as the leader of the Congress legislative party in Gujarat. The position is currently held by Shankersinh Vaghela. “The newly appointed in-charge Ashok Gehlot is trying to take all factions together. Vaghela ji is a senior leader and he will be promoted as Chairman of Congress’ campaign committee”, a source close to the development told Newsd.
Elevation as CLP leader will make Paresh Dhanani, 41, a serious contender for Chief Ministership. The young, second-time MLA is considered close to both Ahmed Patel and Rahul Gandhi. As AICC secretary, Dhanani was in-charge of Bihar.
Notably, Gujarat heads to the election for the first time in the last 15 years without Narendra Modi as the CM. The entire Patidar movement and Dalit uprising also put the state government, then led by Anandiben Patel, on a shaky ground.
“Congress which has performed reasonably well in the local body election in rural areas sees Gujarat 2017 as a now or never situation. Patidars are one of the biggest hope for the Congress. The Hardik Patel agitation followed by removal of a Patidar from CM post in Gujarat has put the state’s most powerful community on the edge” a senior Gujarat-based journalist told Newsd. When Anandiben Patel was removed from Gujarat CMship, it was widely speculated that she will be succeeded by a Patidar. Names of Saurabh Patel and Nitinbhai Patel were in serious reckoning. “Giving mantle to Vijay Rupani also upset some Patels,” he said.