Ahmedabad, Jan 11 (PTI) Despite protests from some party corporators, Congress on Tuesday appointed Shehzad Khan Pathan as Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) for one year.
The appointment was made nearly 11 months after the civic polls last year.
The decision to appoint a minority community leader during a year when Assembly polls will be held in the BJP-ruled Gujarat is being seen as an attempt by Congress to keep is flock together in the face of challenge from the AIMIM.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen has announced that it will contest Assembly elections from Ahmedabad.
But as Pathan’s name was being finalized for LoP post, there were protests from at least 11 corporators who even approaced Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor and threatened to resign.
The party has 24 corporators in the 192-member AMC.
“After due deliberation and taking into confidence all party leaders and the high command, Pathan has been appointed LoP in the AMC, Nirav Bakshi as deputy LoP and Jagdish Rathod as chief whip,” said state Congress legislator C J Chavda who was the observer for the appointments.
These appointments are for only one year (even though the next civic polls are four years away), he added.
According to party sources, the delay in appointments was due to infighting and lack of consensus.
Pathan, the corporator from Danilimda ward, was in the news in 2019 when he was arrested for an anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest which had triggered violence.
In September 2021, he met AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi with a few other Muslim corporators, leading to speculation that they might leave Congress.
“I would like to thank our senior leaders Raghu Sharma, Jagdish Thakor and each and every corporator and party worker for supporting me. I will fulfill my responsibilities with total dedication. The Congress party will work with all its might to curb the rampant corruption in the civic body. We will work taking everyone together,” Pathan said on Tuesday.
“Four or five” corporators have been served show-cause notices for their opposition to the appointments, especially that of Pathan, Chavda said. PTI KA PD KRK KRK
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Source: The Print