Surat/Junagarh: Her party is facing severe tongue-lashing over no ‘captain’ in Gujarat.
But, Sonia Gandhi kept the grand old party's tradition alive on Friday by not declaring the CM nominee before the assembly elections.
She was on the second round of her campaign in the poll-bound Gujarat. From farmers' suicides to malnutrition to rising crime rate, Gandhi blamed the BJP-run government for 'miseries of the people'.
The Congress President only kept mum on the 'captain' of her party's rocking boat in the state.
"The Congress has never, in its history, formally announced a chief ministerial candidate before polls. They never do it in General Elections as well, they never announce PM candidate," say political experts.
"The Congress lacks a figure like Narendra Modi. Although former chief minister and current chairman of the Gujarat Congress Campaign Committe Shankarsinh Vaghela is a frontrunner, Sonia is trying to balance all groups," they added.
They said: "After polls, the performace of elected legislators are viewed and it is conveyed to the party’s Central leadership, which decides as to who will head the government."
The differences over the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress came out in the open on Thursday, with Vaghela openly declaring he is the “captain” of the party and leader of the Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil stating the party high-command would take the decision.
The Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been ripping into the Congress for its "captainless ship" in the state. He has often, in various poll rallies, targeted Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Gandhi, claiming the party wants to make him the CM, but lacks courage to declare it openly.