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Dec 07, 2017 09:28 AM IST | Source: NEWS18.com

Shankarsinh Vaghela may spoil the show for Congress in Gujarat elections

'Bapu', as he is known by his followers, isn’t aiming to "win" the upcoming election. With just 76 candidates in the fray, his Jan Vikalp Morha can, at best, hope to be a "kingmaker". His explicit aim is to create a model of "alternate" politics, different from both the BJP and the Congress.

With the campaign for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections drawing to a close, politicians from across the spectrum – from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi –scurry to address back-to-back rallies.

But one man missing from the spotlight is Shankarsinh Vaghela. The former Gujarat Chief Minister, who split from the Congress in July this year and formed the breakaway Jan Vikalp Morcha, has been conspicuous by his absence on the campaign trail. It is not that Vaghela isn't travelling the state. But instead of holding rallies, he is holding meetings with sympathisers and supporters, trying to keep decades-old connections and networks alive.

'Bapu', as he is known by his followers, isn’t aiming to "win" the upcoming election. With just 76 candidates in the fray, his Jan Vikalp Morha can, at best, hope to be a "kingmaker". His explicit aim is to create a model of "alternate" politics, different from both the BJP and the Congress.

And, sure enough, he has introduced some new ideas. He had recently announced that those who want to contest elections on a ticket from his Jan Vikalp Morcha can apply for them on the internet. The party uploaded a three-page form on its website. Once forms were filled, some candidates were shortlisted. Those shortlisted candidates then received a text message giving them details of the time and place at which they had to appear before the Jan Vikalp Morcha’s Parliamentary Board.

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