Shankersinh Vaghela

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Shankersinh Laxmansinhji Vaghela
શંકરસિંહ લક્ષ્મણસિંહજી વાઘેલા
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
Leader of the Opposition of Gujarat Legislative Assembly
In office
23 January 2013 – 21 July 2017
Preceded byShaktisinh Gohil
Succeeded byMohan Rathwa
Union Textile Minister of India
In office
23 May 2004 – 22 May 2009
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded bySyed Shahnawaz Hussain
Succeeded byDayanidhi Maran
12th Chief Minister of Gujarat
In office
23 October 1996 – 27 October 1997
Preceded bySuresh Mehta
Succeeded byDilip Parikh
Member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly
In office
In office
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
Preceded byShantilal Patel
Succeeded byShantilal Patel
In office
Preceded byG. I. Patel
Succeeded byL. K. Advani
In office
Preceded byDharmsinh Desai
Succeeded byNatvarsinh Solanki
In office
Preceded byJaysinhji Chauhan
Succeeded byConstituency Abolished
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
10 April 1984 – 9 April 1990
Personal details
Born (1940-07-21) 21 July 1940 (age 82)
Gandhinagar, Bombay Presidency, British India
Political partyIndependent (2020-present)
Other political
Bharatiya Janata Party (1970s - 1996)
Rashtriya Janata Party (1996 - 1998)
Indian National Congress (1998-2017)
Jan Vikalp Morcha/AIHCP (2017-2019)
Nationalist Congress Party (2019-2020)
Praja Shakti Democratic Party (since 2022)
Gulab Ba
(m. 1960)
Children3 sons, including Mahendrasinh Vaghela
Residence(s)Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
WebsiteShankersinh Vaghela
As of 25 February, 2006
Source: [1]

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

Vagela started his political career with the Jana Sangh, which later merged into the Janata Party in 1977. After Janata Party split into various factions, Vaghela became a senior leader of the 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 was a member of the Nationalist Congress Party in 2019-20.

He has also served as a Member of Parliament, having been elected to the 6th, 9th (1989-1991), 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 represented the Kapadvanj constituency in the Gujarat legislative assembly from 2012 to 2017.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Vaghela was born to a Koli[2][3] Laxmansinh and Nathuba on 21 July 1940 in Vasan in Gandhinagar district, in Gujarat. He completed Master of Arts in economics from Gujarat University. Vaghela married Gulab Ba on 9 June 1960, with whom he has three sons.[4] His son Mahendrasinh was MLA from Bayad from 2012 to 2017.[5]

On 27 June 2020, Vaghela tested positive for Coronavirus.[6] He healed from Coronavirus on 23 July 2020 at the age of 80 years.[7]

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 (Lok Sabha constituency).

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

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.[8]

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 24 May 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 in 2008. 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.[9]

In July 2017, he left Indian National Congress and stepped down from the post of Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, after he and a few other INC MLAs voted against Ahmed Patel, the INC candidate for the Rajya Sabha, and supported BJP nominee Balvantsinh Rajput.[10]

Jan Vikalp Morcha / AIHCP[edit]

Soon after he left the Indian National Congress, he launched a new outfit called Jan Vikalp Morcha with Parthesh Patel 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.[11][12][13][14][15] AIHCP garnered only 0.3% (83,922) of total votes and did not win any seat.[16][10]

Nationalist Congress Party[edit]

Vaghela joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in January 2019. He was appointed the National General Secretary as well as the State President of the party.[10] He was removed from the post of State President in early June 2020, a week before 2020 Indian Rajya Sabha elections. He resigned from the NCP on 22 June 2020 citing his displease at his removal from the post and cross voting by NCP's only MLA Kandhal Jadeja in Rajya Sabha election.[17]

Praja Shakti Democratic Party[edit]

On 21 August 2022, Vaghela launched a new party, Praja Shakti Democratic Party, with an intention to contest 2022 Gujarat Legislative Assembly election.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official biographical sketch in Parliament of India website Archived 17 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Krishna, Chaitanya (2003). Fascism in India: Faces, Fangs, and Facts. New Delhi, India: Manak Publications. pp. 230: Shankarsinh, who is a Koli of Vaghela clan was state president of Bjp Gujarat and married to a Rajput girl of lower status. The present president from south gujarat also an OBC. In the 1990 and 1995 elections the party fielded a number of OBC candidates. ISBN 978-81-7827-067-8.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  3. ^ Franco, Fernando (2002). Pain and Awakening: The Dynamics of Dalit Identity in Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. New Delhi, India: Indian Social Institute. pp. 252: Throughout the 1980s, Shankarsingh Vaghela - who is a Koli by caste but has cultivated close relationships with the Thakurs, and other Rajput castes from northern Gujarat and Pacnhamahal and was the president of the Gujarat unit of the. ISBN 978-81-87218-46-3.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  4. ^ "Vaghela, Shri Shankersinh". Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Gujarat: Shankarsinh Vaghela's son Mahendrasinh Vaghela resigns from BJP". Scroll. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Ex-Gujarat Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela tests positive, quarantined at his residence". The Hindu. 27 June 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Former Guj CM Sets Fitness Goals at 80 with Viral Exercise Photos after Beating Covid-19". News18. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  8. ^ Nag, Kingshuk (2013). The NaMo Story - A Political Life. Roli Books. pp. 62–65. ISBN 978-8174369383.
  9. ^ "Congress MLAs suspended, again".
  10. ^ a b c "Former Gujarat CM Shankarsinh Vaghela joins NCP in presence of Sharad Pawar". The Economic Times. 29 January 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Vaghela Floats Third Front In Gujarat, Could Hurt Congress".
  12. ^ "Shankersinh Vaghela's outfit to contest on symbol of Jaipur-based party". The Indian Express. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "Gujarat: Shankersinh Vaghela's Jan Vikalp Morcha allies with All India Hindustan Congress Party". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Gujarat polls: Former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela's front to contest on another party's symbol". The New Indian Express. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Shankersinh Vaghela's ambition leads to poll disaster". The Times of India. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  17. ^ PTI (22 June 2020). "Shankersinh Vaghela Resigns From NCP". Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Shankersinh Vaghela launches party, to contest Gujarat assembly polls". Deccan Herald. 21 August 2022. Retrieved 21 August 2022.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Chief Minister of Gujarat
23 October 1996 – 27 October 1997
Succeeded by