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OBC leader Jagdish Thakor to head Congress party in Gujarat

Newly appointed Gujarat Congress chief Jagdish Thakor in Ahmedabad on Friday.   | Photo Credit: --

Almost nine months after the resignation of Gujarat Congress president and Leader of the Opposition Amit Chavda and Paresh Dhanani respectively, the Congress on Friday appointed senior OBC leader Jagdish Thakor as the party chief and tribal legislator Sukhram Rathwa as the Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly.

The high command has chosen Mr. Thakor, a former parliamentarian and legislator and grassroots leader from north Gujarat, to steer the party during the crucial Assembly polls to be held in December 2022.

According to party insiders, Mr. Thakor was chosen as a consensus candidate amid bitter infighting in the State where the Opposition party has not been able to dislodge the BJP since 1998.

“I thank the party high command for this opportunity. We will all work hard to ensure the party wins the Assembly polls next year,” he told media persons as he arrived from Delhi on Friday afternoon.

On Friday evening, the party convened its legislature party meeting in which seasoned legislator Sukhram Rathwa was elected as the CLP leader, replacing Paresh Dhanani, a Patidar leader from Saurashtra.

By appointing an OBC as party chief and a tribal leader as CLP leader, the Opposition party is apparently focusing on wooing OBCs, tribals, Dalits and Muslims, who are traditional voters of the Congress party in Gujarat.

In Gujarat, Thakors and Kolis are considered the largest caste group with significant presence in all the regions of the State. Thakors are particularly dominating in north and central Gujarat while Kolis dominate in Saurashtra and South Gujarat.

‘Important to woo OBCs’

“It is good that the party is focusing on the communities which have been traditionally Congress inclined. Also, since the BJP has appointed a Patidar leader Bhupendra Patel as Chief Minister, it’s all the more important for the Congress to woo OBCs,” a senior legislator said.

Besides the party chief and CLP leader, the Opposition party is likely to appoint few leaders from different communities as the working presidents.

Presently, Patidar youth leader Hardik Patel is a working president of the State party.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 2:21:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/obc-leader-jagdish-thakor-to-head-congress-party-in-gujarat/article37833629.ece

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