There is also a buzz that Mr Vaghela’s son and former Congress MLA Mahendrasinh Vaghela could join the BJP.
Ahmedabad: Will Gujarat former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, now with the NCP, take on BJP president Amit Shah from Gandhinagar? This was the topic of discussion in political circles here on Monday, with participants debating the chances of a high-profile electoral battle taking place.
Mr Vaghela, popularly known as Bapu, had won this seat in 1989 as a BJP candidate.
“It is wish of the party workers as only Bapu can give Amit Shah a tough fight. Party workers have proposed his name for this seat,” said state NCP leader and MLA Jayant Patel.
He also said that an alliance with the Congress was possible in Gujarat. “Talks are going on for an alliance at the top level,” he said. The two parties had formed an alliance in the 2014 elections, and the NCP had contested from Porbandar.
Gujarat votes in the third phase on April 24.
The Congress is yet to name its candidate for Gandhinagar. It is learnt that the party is reworking its strategy after the announcement of Mr Shah’s nomination.
The party had almost finalised Gandhinagar MLA C.J. Chawda for the seat but is also considering fielding a strong Patel leader.
Mr Vaghela has denied that he would be contesting. ‘I have made it clear that I am not going to fight this election,” he said. Many believe that Bapu, being an unpredictable political leader, can spring a surprise at any time.
There is also a buzz that Mr Vaghela’s son and former Congress MLA Mahendrasinh Vaghela could join the BJP. If it happens, it would be a huge embarrassment for the veteran. Mr Mahendrasinh Vagela left the Congress along with Bapu during the high-voltage Rajya Sabha election of 2017. He joined the BJP after that for a short time against his father’s wishes but resigned later. He may rejoin the ruling party to secure his political future.
It was speculated that the BJP would give Mr Mahendrasinh Vaghela the Sabarkantha
Lok Sabha ticket, but since the BJP has announced its candidate there is a question mark over his joining the BJP. Mr Mahendrasinh Vaghela was not available for comment.
Many believe that the real reason behind the buzz of Bapu’s possible fight against Mr Shah could be related to the political moves of his son.