Congress, BJP overhaul in Gujarat likely

Ahmedabad: As Gujarat gears up for the local body elections next year, winds of change are blowing across the two principal political parties in the state.

For the opposition Congress it is all too apparent as its units have been disbanded and the party has been functioning under Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Amit Chavda for quite some time now. Congress members say the new party structure will be formed after December 15.

Chavda as well as the leader of opposition Paresh Dhanani had made their customary offering of resignation after the party’s rout in this year’s Lok Sabha polls in Gujarat but stayed on and with the party romping home in three out of six assembly seats for which bypolls were held later, Chavda did manage to salvage his dented stature to some extent. However, the clamour from rivals for the top job has hardly died down, with former Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president and former Union minister Bharatsinh Solanki recently organising a gala birthday celebration in a show of apparent muscle-flexing.

The loss of three assembly seats in recent bypolls in PM Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah’s home state has high symbolic value and, juxtaposed with the loss of face in Maharashtra, has the potential to spark concern in the BJP. Party members said on condition of anonymity that BJP is more than likely to see a new state president once the new body is announced by the end of this year or in January. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and BJP national general secretary Arun Singh will oversee the process of election of state chief.

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