No End To Congress' Troubles In Gujarat As Key Ahmedabad Lok Sabha Seat Candidate Backs Off

Krishna Dange

Mar 21, 2024, 06:20 PM | Updated 08:03 PM IST

Rohan Gupta withdraws his candidature.
Rohan Gupta withdraws his candidature.

In yet another setback to Congress in Gujarat, Rohan Gupta — the grand old party's national spokesperson and its face for the Ahmedabad East Lok Sabha seat — has withdrawn his candidature for the upcoming elections.

This comes barely a week after Gupta’s name was announced as a part of the first list of Lok Sabha candidates for Gujarat.

In a letter addressed to the Gujarat Congress chief Shaktisinh Gohil which was shared by Gupta on the social media platform X, he said, "Due to serious medical condition, my father is admitted in hospital and I am withdrawing my candidature for Ahmedabad east parliament seat as Congress Candidate. I will extend complete support to the new candidate nominated by the party."

As per reports, a few hours after Gupta announced his withdrawal, his father Rajkumar Gupta — who is also a senior Congress leader — sent a letter addressed to state Congress chief, announcing his resignation from the party.

Both father son duo were seen as close confidantes of the late Congress leader Ahmed Patel. It is this proximity with the former Congress treasurer Patel which is said to have helped junior Gupta become the chief of the party’s social media unit back in 2019.

However, Rohan Gupta was removed from the position two years back after facing allegations of his family being related to a firm named Sunbirds Infrabuild which is owned by Ajay Patel. The latter is supposed to be close to senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Gupta junior’s candidature for Lok Sabha this time was being seen as an attempt by the party to undo the unjust treatment meted out to him as well as his father. Gupta senior was reportedly sidelined by the party after having failed to win from the Ahmedabad Lok Sabha seat back in 2004.

The constituency was subsequently divided into Ahmedabad East and Ahmedabad West after polling body's delimitation exercise in 2008. Currently, both Lok Sabha seats are held by the BJP with the present Member of Parliament for Ahmedabad East seat Hasmukhbhai Patel having won with the highest vote share in 2019.

Notably, although Rohan Gupta hasn’t quit the party while his father has, this is the second instance of those seen as close to the party’s old guard being sidelined. 

The other recent instance in this regard was the exit of Naran Rathwa, former Union minister and presently a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, who like Gupta senior was also considered to be a close associate of late Ahmed Patel. Rathwa is seen as an influential tribal leader from the Chota Udepur Lok Sabha seat in eastern Gujarat. He left Congress along with his son Sangramsinh in February and subsequently joined BJP.

Staff Writer at Swarajya

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