Assembly session next week, Cong yet to pick oppn leader
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Vaghela, who is not attending party's Chintan Shivir, is said to be the front-runner among half a dozen contenders.
As the state government readies for a two-day Assembly session beginning January 22, the Gujarat Congress is yet to decide as to who will lead the party in the House and the state, after its two top guns lost the December polls.
A fresh debate in the party has started over the possible candidates for the post of Leader of Opposition in the Assembly. The opposition leader will be from Congress only as it is the biggest opposition party in the state, followed by the NCP and the GPP, which have two MLAs each.
The Congress has a total of 59 MLAs, with one of its MLAs, Savita Khant, from Morva Hadaf having expired and another, Soma Patel, having resigned from his Limdi seat to continue as MP.
Interestingly, Shankersinh Vaghela who figures among the probable candidates for the post is not among participants at the Congress's two-day Chintan Shivir in Jaipur. Among the state leaders attending the Shivir are former Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Arjun Modhwadia and former CLP leader Shaktisinh Gohil.
Both had lost their constituencies in the recently concluded elections and subsequently resigned from their respective offices. There is a buzz that Modhwadia may be retained as the GPCC chief.
Discussions on picking the Congress Legislature Party leader started after the state government announced to convene a two-day session of the House on January 22 and 23.
While a number of possibilities are being mentioned, those in know of the things say that former chief minister and ex-union minister Vaghela is reported to be the front-runner among half a dozen contenders for the post.
The opposition leader enjoys the status of a cabinet minister with entitlement of all perks and facilities that are given to a cabinet rank minister. Vaghela is currently chairman of the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).