Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who shocked the BJP with a win in the Rajya Sabha election, has ruled out being the Chief Ministerial candidate in the Gujarat assembly elections later this year and said the party has not applied its mind to the issue yet.
“I will be a facilitator. I will keep a much closer watch and do my best possible to meet this target. I am not for Chief Ministership, if you are suggesting even something remotely like that,” Patel said.
Asked if he was now going to take active charge of the Gujarat Congress and lead from the front, given that he has set a target of winning 125 of the 182 seats, he replied an emphatic “No”.
Asked who was going to channelise this new energy in the party since every leader in the Congress seemed to be the Chief Ministerial candidate, he laughed but admitted: “This is a big challenge for us. The tendency to count the eggs even before they are hatched.”
With Shankarsinh Vaghela gone, does the Congress have a Chief Ministerial candidate with state-level stature?
“We have not thought of a Chief Ministerial candidate, we will do so when the need arises. Right now, the immediate priority is put our house in order,” he said.