After losing Jyotiraditya Scindia and resignation of 22 Madhya Pradesh lawmakers, the Congress is now struggling to keep its flock together.
In one such move aimed at avoiding another major exodus, the grand old party has fielded Bharatsinh Solanki for Rajya Sabha polls from the state of Gujarat, instead of Rajeev Shukla whose name had been doing the rounds.
According to a Jagran report, a faction of MLAs in the state supporting Solanki got agitated after the name of Rajeev Shukla and Shaktisinh Gohil started doing the rounds.
Baldevji Thakor and a dozen other MLAs held a meeting in support of Bharatsinh Solanki, giving a clear message to the party high command that a Madhya Pradesh like fiasco may be repeated in the state of Gujarat.
Interestingly, Solanki, the son of former Chief Minister Madavsinh Solanki is considered close to Jyotiraditya Scindia and he has a significant clout among lawmakers in Gujarat. According to reports, he dropped hints to the central party leadership about the changing political dynamics in the state of Gujarat after which a decision was taken to field him for the Rajya Sabha polls along with Gohil.
The Congress therefore understood that disenchanting someone close to Jyotiraditya Scindia in another state could cause a rebellion of the kind that has left the party shell-shocked in Madhya Pradesh. The party high command has thus clearly succumbed to Solanki and his supporters.
Meanwhile, Rajeev Shukla has tweeted, “I would like to thank congress president Sonia ji for offering me rajya sabha nomination from Gujarat but currently I am focusing on organisational work so requested her to nominate some other person in my place.”
I would like to thank congress president Sonia ji for offering me rajya sabha nomination from Gujarat but currently I am focusing on organisational work so requested her to nominate some other person in my place @INCIndia @priyankagandhi @INCGujarat @AhmadPatel @kcvenugopalmp
— Rajeev Shukla (@ShuklaRajiv) March 12, 2020
This doesn’t make a lot of sense given that it is not very difficult for one to concentrate on organisational work alongside discharging responsibilities as a Rajya Sabha MP.
According to India Today, Shukla received a call from 10 Janpath confirming his candidates from the Ahmedabad Rajya Sabha seat in Gujarat. However, Rajeev Shukla’s tweet rejecting the Rajya Sabha berth was not an act of benevolence, rather he was forced to say this given the kind of rebellion that was brewing in the Gujarat Congress at the prospect of an outsider getting nominated from the state.
Solanki’s faction of MLAs clearly stood beside him firmly and forced the party leadership to dump Shukla. After Scindia’s exit the Central leadership of the Congress is clearly on the backfoot. The party is already divided on several fronts and therefore the high command is desperately trying to keep its folk together.