Shankersinh Vaghela

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Shankersinh Vaghela
The Union Minister for Textiles, Shri Shankersinh Vaghela addressing a press conference in connection with the ‘TEX Summit’ in New Delhi on August 30, 2007.jpg
12th Chief Minister of Gujarat
In office
23 October 1996 – 27 October 1997
Preceded bySuresh Mehta
Succeeded byDilip Parikh
Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
25 December 2012
Preceded byShaktisinh Gohil
Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles
In office
Rajyasabha MP
In office
Member of Parliament
Assumed office
Assumed office
Assumed office
Assumed office
1999-2004 , 2004-2009
MLA of Gujarat
In office
MLA of Gujarat
In office
Personal details
Born (1940-07-21) 21 July 1940 (age 79)
Gandhinagar, Bombay Presidency, British India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party (1970s - 1996)
Rashtriya Janata Party (1996 - 1998)
Indian National Congress (1998-2017)
Jan Vikalp Morcha/AIHCP (2017-2019)
Nationalist Congress Party(from Jan 2019)
Spouse(s)Gulab ba
Children3 sons
ResidenceGandhinagar, Gujarat, India
WebsiteShankersinh Vaghela
As of 25 February, 2006
Source: [1]

Shankersinh Vaghela (born 21 July 1940) is an Indian politician from Gujarat. He was the Leader of Opposition in 13th Gujarat Legislative Assembly.

Vagela started his political career with Jana Sangh, which later evolved into Janata Party. After Janata Party split into various factions, Vaghela became a senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In 1996, he broke away from the BJP and formed the Rashtriya Janata Party. He served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 1996 to 1997. Later, his party merged with Indian National Congress (Congress). On 21 July 2017, he left congress and resigned from the post of the leader of opposition. He formed new outfit Jan Vikalp Morcha which contested but did not win any of the seats in 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly election.

He has also served as a Member of Parliament, having been elected to the 6th, 9th, 10th, 13th and 14th Lok Sabhas. He was also a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1984 to 1989. He served as the Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles from 2004 to 2009 in the First Manmohan Singh Cabinet. He is represented the Kapadvanj constituency in the Gujarat assembly from 2012 to 2017.[1]

Early life[edit]

Vaghela was born in a Rajput family[2] in Vasan, Gandhinagar District, in Gujarat. He studied Master of Arts from Gujarat University. His son Mahendrasinh was MLA from Bayad from 2012 to 2017.

Political career[edit]

Vaghela was an active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) before joining Jana Sangh. He was jailed during the Indira Gandhi's Emergency.

Janata Party and Bharatiya Janata Party[edit]

After the Emergency was lifted, he was elected to the 6th Lok Sabha (1977-1979) on a Janata Party ticket from Kapadvanj but lost that seat in 1980 elections.

He was the Vice-President of the Janata Party in Gujarat and from 1980 to 1991 he was the General Secretary and President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1984 to 1989. In 1989 he was elected to the 9th Lok Sabha (1989–91) from Gandhinagar and in 1991 he was re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha (1991–96) from Godhra.

In 1995, BJP won a majority of 121 legislators out of a 182-member Legislative Assembly, who expressed a preference for Vaghela as their leader. However, the BJP leadership installed Keshubhai Patel as the Chief Minister, praful patel and the support for Vaghela was gradually eroded. Narendra Modi is said to have thrown his weight behind Patel in preference to Vaghela, and held responsible for the ensuing events.

In September 1995, Vaghela rebelled against the BJP leadership with the support of 47 MLAs. In the subsequent compromise worked out by the leadership, Keshubhai Patel was replaced by a Vaghela loyalist Suresh Mehta as the Chief Minister. Modi was temporarily banished from Gujarat.[3]

Vaghela lost Godhra seat in May 1996 Lok Sabha polls, and soon left Bharatiya Janata Party with his supporters, bringing down Suresh Mehta's government.

Rashtriya Janata Party and Chief Minister[edit]

He floated his own party, named Rashtriya Janata Party and became Chief Minister with Congress Party's support in October 1996.

He won bye-poll to Gujarat Assembly from Radhanpur seat in early 1997. But he had to resign as Chief Minister during ongoing political turmoil in Gujarat in October 1997, and his fellow-rebel ex-BJP MLA Dilip Parikh became CM with Vaghela's reluctant blessings.

Even Parikh's government did not last long and fresh elections for Gujarat Vidhan Sabha had to be called in 1998. Vaghela did not contest these elections. He merged his new party with Congress. BJP came back to power with thumping majority in Gujarat in 1998 and Keshubhai Patel became CM again.

Indian National Congress[edit]

Vaghela takes over the charge as the Union Minister for Textiles in New Delhi on May 24, 2004

Vaghela was now established as a major politician in Indian National Congress Party. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1999 and 2004 from Kapadvanj as Congress candidate. He was made Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles in May 2004. Kapadvanj seat was reconstituted as Panchmahal seat later. Vaghela lost Panchmahal seat to BJP in 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Ahead of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly election, 2012, he was appointed the Chairman of Campaign Committee. He contested from the Kapadvanj constituency and won.

He was named the leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. He has also served as the president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee.

He contested 2014 Lok Sabha election from Sabarkantha constituency in Gujarat and lost to BJP candidate Dipsinh Shankarsinh Rathod.

Vaghela had been appointed chairman of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), which runs the Ashoka group of hotels across the country.

Vaghela was one of 57 Congress MLAs suspended for wearing slogans against BJP president Amit Shah.[4]

In July 2017, he left Indian National Congress and stepped down from the post of Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.

Jan Vikalp Morcha / AIHCP[edit]

Soon after he left the Indian National Congress, he launched a new outfit called Jan Vikalp Morcha ahead of 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly election. As the application for registration of Jan Vikalp Morcha was not approved by the elections were announced by the Election Commission, his outfit fielded 95 candidates under the symbol and banner of Jaipur-based All India Hindustan Congress Party to contest election.[5][6][7][8][9][10] AIHCP garnered only 0.3% (83,922) of total votes and did not win any seat.[11]


  1. ^ Official biographical sketch in Parliament of India website Archived 17 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Gujarat polls: Both Narendra Modi and Shankersinh Vaghela have to take on internal rivals too 5082002".
  3. ^ Nag, Kingshuk (2013). The NaMo Story - A Political Life. Roli Books. pp. 62–65. ISBN 978-8174369383.
  4. ^ "Congress MLAs suspended, again - Times of India".
  5. ^ "Vaghela Floats Third Front In Gujarat, Could Hurt Congress".
  6. ^ "Shankersinh Vaghela's outfit to contest on symbol of Jaipur-based party". The Indian Express. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Vaghela's Janvikalp to Contest on Borrowed Symbol Tractor Under All India Hindustan Congress Party - THE DAYAFTER". THE DAYAFTER. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  8. ^ Staff, Scroll. "Gujarat: Shankersinh Vaghela's Jan Vikalp Morcha allies with All India Hindustan Congress Party". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Gujarat polls: Former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela's front to contest on another party's symbol". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Gujarat polls: Former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela's front to contest on another party's symbol". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Shankersinh Vaghela's ambition leads to poll disaster". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
Preceded by
Suresh Mehta
Chief Minister of Gujarat
23 October 1996 – 27 October 1997
Succeeded by
Dilip Parikh