New Delhi /Pune: Speculation is rife in Delhi’s political circles about the possibility of BJP President Amit Shah’s entry into the Union cabinet. There is some talk in Delhi of Prime Minister Modi going in for a cabinet reshuffle after the current monsoon session of Parliament ends. In this proposed reshuffle, it is believed that Amit Shah may be given an important portfolio such as home or defence.
All the political action right now is happening in Gujarat from where Amit Shah is going to contest the Rajya Sabha election. Shah and his team is eager to ensure that Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor Ahmed Patel, who is the other contestant from Gujarat for Rajya Sabha, is defeated. Many feel that Amit Shah’s entry into Rajya Sabha is a precursor to his inclusion in the Union cabinet.
There is a keen contest between the BJP and the Congress over Rajya Sabha election happening in the state. After a few MLAs crossing over from the Congress to BJP, now, the party has taken action to prevent such defections. The Congress has sent 44 of its legislators to a resort outside Bengaluru to fend off ‘poaching’ attempts by the BJP ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, a senior party leader said.
Of the 57 Congress MLAs in the state, from where senior party leader Ahmed Patel is contesting, six resigned from the party in the last two days with three of them joining the BJP on Friday.
“This is the internal problem of Congress as its leader of opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela, its chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput and spokesperson Tajeshriben Patel have quit as they faced difficulties,” he said.
“They have taken their MLAs to Bengaluru as they do not have faith in their MLAs,” he said in Rajkot. A section of the Congress’ legislators claimed that seven MLAs decided against going with them to Bengaluru. The seven include Vaghela, who has already quit the party and his MLA son Mahendrasinh Vaghela. Party sources said Bengaluru was chosen as Congress has its government in Karnataka.
The MLAs have been kept at a resort 50 km from Bengaluru city, Vyas confirmed without divulging more details.
Meanwhile, rebel Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela on Saturday feigned innocence over the exit of half a dozen party legislators during the last two days and claimed that he had no role to play in the happenings.
“I am Congress mukt (free) and have freed the party of me. These MLAs indeed called me seeking my advice but I never told them to resign and join anywhere,” Vaghela, who quit as Leader of Opposition on his 77th birthday on July 21, said.
“I will resign as a legislator after the Rajya Sabha elections (on August 8). My vote, as I have said earlier too, is reserved for Ahmed Bhai (Patel),” he added. Vaghela, or Bapu as he is popularly known because of his Kshatriya credentials, was on a tour of the flood-affected areas of north Gujarat, to which he belongs.