Denial of ticket to senior leaders is an insult, he says

The former Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister and Congress leader, Narhari Amin, along with a host of other leaders, has raised the banner of revolt after being denied ticket in the Assembly elections, declaring on Sunday that they would not campaign for the party’s candidates.

Besides Mr. Amin, the former Minister, Naresh Rawal, and others were denied ticket following the high command’s decision not to field candidates who had lost two consecutive elections. Mr. Amin was seeking to contest from Gandhinagar South.

At a meeting, attended by scores of their supporters, the leaders gave a two-day ultimatum to the leadership to suitably and “respectfully” accommodate them in the party. This, despite Union Minister and Congress leader Rajiv Shukla holding discussions with Mr. Amin at the latter’s residence on Saturday night to quell the resentment.

“Denial of ticket to senior leaders is an insult. The Congress is not going to win the elections in the State,” said an angry Amin. He asserted, as his supporters cheered him, “We will not work for the victory of Congress candidates.”

Mr. Amin’s supporters, including Ahmedabad City Congress president Pankaj Shah, have already quit their posts. Similarly, two sitting MLAs had revolted against the party and filed nominations as independent candidates on Friday.

Congress candidates from Ghatlodia, Sabarmati, Ellisbridge, Naranpura and Thakkarbapanagar in Ahmedabad city had also expressed solidarity with Mr. Amin. After the party leadership ignored the protests, Ahmedabad City Congress chief, 12 municipal corporators, 40 ward presidents, in-charges of 14 Assembly constituencies and 100 other officials had quit their posts.

Earlier, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela had to virtually argue with the high command to wangle a ticket for himself — the Kapadwanj constituency in central Gujarat.

Murmurs of protests were heard from across the State against official nominees ever since the party declared its first list of 52 candidates and it even had to delay announcing the second list, while in some cases quietly handed over the mandates to nominees without declaring any names.