The forthcoming Gujarat polls in 2017 has just got more interesting. The reason – rebel Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela has announced the formation of a third front — Jan Vikalp — in Gujarat.
According to a IANS report, The front will support independent candidates who register with it for the upcoming state assembly elections, the maverick leader said.
Addressing a press conference in Gandhinagar , Vaghela said it was a myth that an alternative force cannot be successful in Gujarat.
Jan Vikalp was the ‘people’s alternative’ to the voters of Gujarat who are fed up with BJP and Congress, he said, adding that the new front will contest all 182 assembly seats and support independent candidates who register with the party for elections due by December.
Jan Vikalp will launch its political campaign on 21 September from Gujarat’s Ambaji temple. Vaghela said the party will not make any personal attacks on rival party leaders and added that its campaign will be positive.
The ruling BJP faces anti-incumbency in Gujarat where it has been in power for over two decades, alongside protests from members of Dalit, Patel and OBC communities. While the BJP has set itself an ambitious target of winning 150-plus seats in the assembly elections, the Congress is eyeing 125.
At the press meet, Vaghela recalled how he had presented a different political narrative in the mid-nineties when he formed the government and became the chief minister.
Vaghela used to be in the BJP and played a crucial role in the party’s victory in Gujarat in 1995. In March 1995, the BJP won 121 of 182 seats and Keshubhai Patel became chief minister. Vaghela, the architect of that victory, then staged one of the biggest coups the party has seen. In September 1995, he flew more than 45 members of the legislative assembly (MLA) to Khajuraho in Madhya Paradesh. Upon their return, Vaghela rebelled and became chief minister in October 1996. He floated his own party, the Rashtriya Janata Party, which was later merged with the Congress.