Cong to deny tickets to Gujarat MLAs if they don't act as 'real opposition'

Upset over the 'feeble' protests on the Anar Patel issue, Congress high command has warned party MLAs in Gujarat that their renomination could be in jeopardy if they failed to act as "real opposition" to the Prime Minister in his home state.

PTI| Updated: Apr 03, 2016, 12:32 PM IST
Cong to deny tickets to Gujarat MLAs if they don't act as 'real opposition'

New Delhi: Upset over the 'feeble' protests on the Anar Patel issue, Congress high command has warned party MLAs in Gujarat that their renomination could be in jeopardy if they failed to act as "real opposition" to the Prime Minister in his home state.

Assembly elections in the state are scheduled towards the end of next year and the main opposition party is sensing an opportunity following its success in the local bodies polls four months back.

A central leader, who declined to be identified, said ahead of the just-concluded session of the state Assembly, the high command had asked the MLAs to take up the Anar Patel issue in a big way.

The issue concerns controversial land allotment to entities associated with Anar Patel, daughter of Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

AICC has also been using the issue to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him, time and again, of "blatantly plundering" public land when he was Gujarat Chief Minister. It has been demanding a Supreme Court-monitored SIT probe.

The party also wanted Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel to resign or be sacked immediately to ensure a fair probe.

Its stand is that allotment of 250 acres of government land next to 'Gir Lion Sanctuary' "without following any procedure or valuation or price determination for a pittance" was in gross violation of all norms, procedures and regulations governing allotment of public land.

Party sources said AICC was not happy with the way party MLAs were "lukewarm" to its direction in the initial days of the Assembly session and were made it known that their working was being monitored and it could have a bearing on their renomination.

The Congress high command's direction bore a belated result towards the end of March when 55 of the party's MLAs present in the Gujarat Assembly were suspended for the rest of the session after they shouted slogans in support of Patel quota agitation and waved placards on the Anar Patel issue. The suspension on March 30 took place just a day before the session was to conclude.