Among the 100 seats former Gujarat chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela’s new front is contesting, a prominent exception in Kapadvanj of Kheda, from where he had been elected as a Congress candidate in 2012.
The reason for opting out of Kapadvanj, the breakaway Congress says, is to allow an open field to Bimal Shah, a loyalist of Keshubhai Patel and a former BJP minister, now an independent. With a 45% Kshatriya population, Kapadvanj has been a stronghold for Vaghela, as was the Lok Sabha seat of the same name before it ceased to exist.
Most leaders had expected that Vaghela, “Bapu” to his supporters, would keep Kapadvanj either for himself or for his son Mahendra. “Both Mahendra and I are busy building our front at the grassroots,” Vaghela says. “We are travelling extensively and there is no time to contest the polls.”