Arjun Modhwadia appointed new state Cong president

The long wait for the appointment of a new president for the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) came to end on Wednesday with the party high command announcing the name of senior leader Arjun Modhwadia for the top job. He is the 27th president of the party in the state.

The name of Modhwadia, a former Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly and sitting MLA from Porbandar, was being discussed for the job after Siddharth Patel resigned from the post after defeat of the party in municipal corporation and zilla panchayat polls in October last year.

As there was no consensus among the senior party leaders about the new president, they passed a one-line resolution in early November 2010 authorising party's national president Sonia Gandhi to nominate whomever she considered to be the best suitable.

Former union textile minister Shankersinh Vaghela and former MP Madhusudan Mistry were reported to be in the race along with Modhwadia. And his appointment indicates his proximity with those having say with Sonia or, more precisely, with Ahmed Patel, political adviser to the AICC president. Sources say that nothing can take place in the state party unit without a nod from Patel.

The job is not going to be a bed of roses for Modhwadia as the Assembly polls in the state are likely to be held in December 2012. While the Congress is in a very bad shape, the BJP is firmly entrenched in each and every town and village under the leadership of Narendra Modi, the longest serving CM of the state.

The real test for Modhwadia will be to organise the tattering party with too many groups and lead them all to face the polls against the BJP led by Modi.

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