Gandhinagar, Feb 3 : More than three and a half years after he quit the Congress, former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela on Wednesday said he desired to return to his old party without any conditions even as there are no indications from the party on his induction.
“When Congress veteran Ahmed Patel died, many Congress leaders met me at his native Piraman village and suggested that I rejoin the Congress.Obviously, that was no time for politics; but many congressmen have since then said the same thing to me,” the veteran politician said.
“I have very good relations with the Congress high command in Delhi.If Congress chief Sonia Gandhi calls me and says that we should work together and you return to the party fold, I will definitely join it unconditionally,” Vaghela added.
Vaghela quit the Congress in July 2017, claiming that he had been thrown out.
Addressing a public rally in a show of strength to mark his 77th birthday that year, Vaghela had claimed that he was a victim of intra-party conspiracy, due to which the party had shown him the door.
However, the Congress had denied Vaghela was removed and said that his claim was baseless.
Bapu, as Vaghela is fondly called by his supporters, then floated the Jan Vikalp Party and contested all Gujarat Assembly seats in December 2017 elections.All his party candidates however lost their security deposits.
In 2019, Vaghela joined the Nationalist Congress Party but left it last year.
Before he parted ways with the Congress in 2017, he allegedly made things difficult for late Congress MP Ahmed Patel to secure a Rajya Sabha seat from the state.
Six Congress legislators had quit the party before the Rajya Sabha polls and seven MLAs afterwards.In all, 14 of the 57 Congress legislators resigned, following which the party expelled them for six years.
These developments just prior to the 2017 Assembly elections impacted the Congress prospects even though it got good public support.The Congress won 77 seats and thus fell short of the 93 seats required to gain power in Gujarat, while BJP formed the government with 99 MLAs.