Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: The year was 1995, and Gujarat saw its first every Bharatiya Janata Party government come to power. But not all was hunky dory in this historic win, as within 6 months of being in power, chief minister Keshubhai Patel saw his onetime accomplice Shankarsinh Vaghela revolt against him. As a result, the Keshubhai government fell and Suresh Mehta was made the CM upon certain agreements, but Vaghela was still not happy as he was actually eyeing the CM’s chair back then.
The then general secretary of BJP Narendra Modi was exiled and sent to Delhi and Gujarat assembly speaker Harishchandra Patel’s deteriorating health had forced his exit from the post and Congress’ Chandu Dabhi was put in his place. It was the Deve Gowda government at the center and Krishnapal Singh was the governor of Gujarat. Everything seemed to be falling into place for Shankersinh Vaghela. He had gone to the governor and claimed that the Suresh Mehta government has lost its majority in the house and as a result, Suresh Mehta was ordered to have a confidence vote in the house.
Chandu Dabhi, the speaker of the house was overlooking the whole confidence vote session in the house. But during the counting of votes, a ruckus between the MLAs turned violent, which was a pre-meditated move by Shankersinh to ensure that Suresh Mehta’s majority is not proven in the house. Despite having all the votes needed, the house speaker announced that Mehta had lost. The violence in the house saw several MLAs and journalists get injured. The matter reached Rajbhavan.
Suresh Mehta along with the then finance minister and current governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala claimed to have won the confidence vote in the house, but they weren’t aware of the fact that Shankersinh had already fixed the game with governor Krishnapal Singh, who sent a report to Deve Gowda at the centre that the Gujarat legislative assembly is not stable despite this being an elected government. As a result, Gowda suspended the assembly for 6 months.
This gave Shankersinh ample time to poach off several BJP MLAs into his side and went on to form a government with him as the CM. But now the tables have turned this time. Vajubhai Vala, who was once scorned by Deve Gowda is currently the governor of Karnataka, where Gowda’s party had joined hands with the Congress to stale claim on forming the government in the state. Now it is to be seen if Vajubhai Vala is going to stick to the constitutional rules or will use this opportunity to hit back at Gowda for the past.