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The Economic Times

Bypoll results may bring in major changes in Gujarat Congress

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Gandhinagar: While no head rolled in the Gujarat Congress after the whitewash in Lok Sabha election, the bypolls to six assembly seats on Monday may altogether be a different story. If the Congress fails to perform in these six seats, the high command may initiate some big changes in the local leadership, party insiders said

The high command has reportedly given a free hand to the state leadership to run this election. Discontent against the local leadership has been simmering within the party for quite a while now and the generational shift in the state leadership initiated by Rahul Gandhi has not gone down too well with the seniors here. State Congress chief Amit Chavda and leader of the opposition Paresh Dhanani had offered to resign after the Lok Sabha elections.

A meeting of senior leaders who were disenchanted with the incumbent leadership was held at a former state Congress president’s house over dinner ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. It was attended also by Alpesh Thakore, who later joined the BJP. However, the party high command had managed to douse the discontent then, only to end up with a blank score card in the election that followed.

The elections now have assumed some extra significance for both parties as Thakore and his aide Dhavalsinh Jhala have been fielded by the BJP from Radhanpur and Bayad constituency. While Congress had earlier tried to get Thakore disqualified without any success, the BJP reportedly is all set to give him a berth in the state cabinet once he wins the election under the party banner.
Thakore himself has made similar claims in his campaigns, triggering some strong reactions from the Congress.

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