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Congress withdraws support to Vaghela govt

Congress Legislature Party leader Amarsinh Chaudhary and state Congress president C D Patel called on Gujarat Governor Krishnapal Singh on Monday evening and submitted a letter withdrawing support to the Shankarsinh Vaghela goverment. The Gujarat government would have completed one year in power on Thursday.

Later, Patel told reporters that he had informed Congress president Sitaram Kesri and that the party's future plans will be announced on Tuesday.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vaghela, who was in Delhi when the Congress withdrew support, rushed back to Gandhinagar. On Sunday he had sought Congress support for his government until the next general election to contain the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre.

The CLP had, at its meeting earlier on Monday, authorised Patel to take a decision at an appropriate time. All India Youth Congress president Satyajit Sinh Gaekwad, the MP from Baroda, who also attend the meeting, said the party high command had authorised the state leadership to take an appropriate decision.

Even party legislators did not know when exactly the action was to be taken. One of them, Shantaben Makwana, quizzed just after the meeting, said she presumed support would be withdrawn in a couple of days because most Congressmen were "fed up" with the Vaghela government.

The BJP has a majority of 77 in the state assembly of 182, followed by the Mahagujarat Janata Party headed by Vaghela with 45, the Congress with 44, Independents with 15 and one remaining vacant.

Vaghela had claimed on Sunday that a general election was imminent and that his government would be the BJP's first target if it came to power at the Centre. He would help contain the BJP, the Gujarat chief minister had told the Congress.

"No parties run on principles and ideology," Vaghela had said. "There is nothing like ideology. Show me a party or government that runs on ideology or principles. It is a dead phenomenon."

The Congress leadership was under considerable pressure from its Gujarat unit to withdraw support to the Vaghela government. But the Gujarat chief minister had hoped to strike a compromise with the Congress and ensure that his government stayed in office.

Even if the Congress went ahead and withdrew support, he would join them to go to the governor, he had said. "But they should consider the fallout," he had added, hinting at the possibility of the BJP making a comeback in Gandhinagar.

A prickly marriage of convenience
As crisis smoulders, Gujarat CM plans to 'remote control' state
Vaghela-governor meeting sparks speculation
Vaghela's fate in balance
Congress will decide on Vaghela's future on Saturday
Vaghela suggests panel to broker peace with Congress
BJP's month-long stir against Gujarat CM
Congress observers poll partymen about support for Vaghela
Congress high command to decide fate of Gujarat govt
Congress faction teaming up with BJP to dislodge me: Vaghela
Withdraw support to Vaghela, Congress MLAs tell high command

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