Shankersinh Vaghela appointed CLP leader in Gujarat

Former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela was tonight appointed the leader of Congress Legislature Party in the state.

The appointment was made by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi who was authorized by a meeting of the Gujarat Congress Legislature Party in Gandhinagar earlier in the day to select the leader.

Vaghela, 72, succeeds Shaktisinh Gohil who was the CLP leader in the last Assembly but who failed to win the recent assembly poll in the state.

The announcement about the appointment of Vaghela as CLP leader was made by Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi in New Delhi.

In Gandhinagar, the Gujarat CLP meeting passed a resolution leaving it to Sonia Gandhi to decide about the new CLP leader.

The CLP meeting was held in the presence of central party observers-- Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and party's state in-charge Mohan Prakash.

Dikshit met all the 59 MLAs separately and elicited their views on who should be the CLP leader of the state, sources in Congress said, adding, some MPs had also come to put forward their point along with some other state party leaders.

After the meeting, Dikshit had told reporters that Sonia Gandhi will take a decision on the new CLP leader.

The contenders for the CLP leader's post included besides Vaghela, senior leader Vitthal Radadia and seven-time MLA Mohansinh Rathwa.

A former union minister, Vaghela was some time ago made chairman of the ITDC which runs the state-run hotels, including Ashoka.

He was also the campaign committee chief of the party in the Assembly polls in Gujarat.

The newly elected Assembly will have its first session tomorrow.

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