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With Polls Ahead, New Gujarat Congress Chief Has His Task Cut Out

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Jagdish Thakor has been appointed congressman of Gujarat.

Ahmedabad:

Jagdish Thakor, who has established himself as a consensual candidate for chairman of the Gujarat Pradesh Congressional Committee (GPCC), faces a colossal task of defeating the ruling BJP in next year’s parliamentary elections.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has appointed Mr. Thakor as the new Congress chairman of Gujarat, replacing Amit Chavda, the party announced earlier today.

A leader of the OBC community, Mr. Thakor, who has good oratory skills, will have to lead all factions of state unity while confronting the well-organized BJP which has been in power in the state since 1998.

Congressional sources said Thakor was a consensual candidate, as former heads of state units Bharatsinh Solanki and Arujn Modhwadia were also in the running.

The party’s high command also toyed with the idea of ​​picking Patidar’s young leader Hardik Patel for the post, but it faced considerable opposition within the state unit, they said. .

Rajya Sabha member Shaktisinh Gohil was asked to take responsibility but declined, saying he would like to contribute nationally, sources said.

“Thakor does not belong to any faction and that is why he was put in charge,” said a congressional head of the state.

Bharatsinh Solanki, Arjun Modhwadia and Hardik Patel congratulated Thakor after his name was announced and expressed hope that Congress will defeat the BJP under his leadership in the 2022 elections.

With the appointment of Mr. Thakor, the party appears to be sticking to its traditional Kshatriya-tribal-Muslim-Dalit electoral base.

In the 2017 elections, the party attempted to woo the Patel community following the Patidar quota unrest. With the impact of the unrest fading, Congress appears to have opted for an OBC community leader.

Tribal leader Sukhram Rathwa was likely to be appointed opposition leader in the assembly, sources said.

Previous state congressman Amit Chavda and opposition leader Paresh Dhanani resigned in March 2021 when the party was defeated in local body polls, but were asked to continue until replacements are found.

Mr. Thakor, currently vice president of the state Congress, began his political career as a youth leader and rose through the ranks.

The Kshatriya Thakor community to which he belongs is very present in northern and central Gujarat.

He was MP for Patan between 2009 and 2014 before losing in the 2014 election to Lok Sabha.

Previously, he was elected MP for Dehgam in 2002 and 2007.

“Thakor is a good speaker and an incendiary leader, connected to the grassroots. He will lead the party successfully in the legislative elections, ”said State Congress spokesman Manish Doshi.

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