In a significant blow to the Congress party in Gujarat, seasoned leader and Vijapur legislator CJ Chavda announced his resignation from the state legislative assembly and all positions within the Gujarat Congress on Friday. This move by Chavda, known as a stalwart figure in Gujarat politics, not only marks a setback for the Congress but also hints at a potential shift in political allegiance.
A former Deputy Collector, Chavda has been a prominent figure in Gujarat politics, serving as a formidable opposition force against the ruling BJP. Having won assembly elections in both 2017 and 2022, he previously held the crucial position of chief whip in the Assembly during his tenure representing Gandhinagar North constituency in 2017. Chavda's political journey, however, includes setbacks, including a loss in the 2007 assembly polls and a defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election against Amit Shah in the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat.
Congress leader CJ Chavda | FPJ
Resignation over differences
CJ Chavda tendered his resignation to Gujarat State Assembly Speaker Shankar Chaudhary at his Gandhinagar residence on Friday morning. In a subsequent media interaction, he cited his discontent with the Congress party's stance on significant national issues, particularly expressing dismay over their opposition to the inauguration of the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir and the government's commendable actions, such as the surgical strike.
"Despite the nationwide wave of happiness surrounding the inauguration of the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir, the Congress should be supporting the positive initiatives of Prime Minister Modi. Unfortunately, that's not happening. They are opposing the Ram Mandir, they are opposing the surgical strike, and anything positive done by the PM. Considering the Congress's stance, I felt compelled to offer my resignation today," stated Chavda during the press conference following his resignation.
It's highly expected that CJ Chavda will join the BJP
There is widespread speculation that CJ Chavda is inclined towards joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with rumours suggesting a possible candidacy for the Lok Sabha seat in the upcoming general elections. However, Chavda maintained that his political future would be decided after consulting with voters and supporters in his Vijapur constituency.
With Chavda's departure, the Congress party in the 182-member Gujarat assembly now stands at 15 members. His resignation triggers a by-poll for the Vijapur assembly seat, likely to coincide with the general elections scheduled for April/May. This development follows the resignations of other Congress members, including Chirag Patel from Khambhat, who is speculated to join the BJP, and AAP MLA Bhupendra Bhayani from Visavadar, also likely to align with the BJP, further reshaping the political landscape in Gujarat.