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On birthday, Shankarsinh Vaghela says Congress sacked him the day before

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-07-2017 Maulik Pathak

Gandhinagar: Veteran Congress leader and leader of Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela on Friday said that his party has sacked him.

“Before I could say something today, they sacked me twenty-four hours ago,” Vaghela said before a huge gathering at a town hall in Gandhinagar. The veteran leader, who turned 77 on Friday, had earlier said that he would be making an announcement on his birthday at the venue.

The move comes after differences between Vaghela and senior party leaders cropped over projecting him as the chief ministerial candidate. Vaghela has, however, said publicly that he was not in the race for the chief ministerial post.

He had invited all 56 Congress MLAs, two NCP MLAS and one JDU MLA to his birthday celebrations. The Congress had reportedly told all of its lawmakers to stay away from today’s birthday celebrations.

Vaghela, who is the 57, said this morning, “The party has full authority to advice workers, but workers are not the party’s bonded labourers, they are free to decide what they want.”

On Monday, 11 Congress lawmakers in Gujarat voted for the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential election, instead of opposition candidate Meira Kumar.

Earlier on 24 June, Vaghela while sending out a strong message to the party’s top leadership, hit out at the party for not doing enough to win elections in Gujarat and said that he would not prefer to be on a side that has already made up its mind to lose.

As many as 36 MLAs (out of 57) had in April urged the central leadership to declare Vaghela as the CM candidate. On 20 June, Vaghela had said that he is not angling to be projected for the top post.

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