Two days after eleven Indian National Congress (INC) corporators of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) submitted their resignations from the party after Shehzad Khan Pathan, corporator from Danilimda, was shortlisted as the Leader of Opposition (LOP), the party officially declared his name for the post.

Meanwhile, Nirav Baxi and Jagdish Rathod have been declared as the Deputy Leader of Opposition and the whip of the Opposition in the AMC, respectively.Baxi was one of the eleven corporators to render his resignation to the party state president, Jagdish Thakor.

The official announcement, which came amid a resentment among a section of Congress corporators, is seen as the party sticking to its stand and not giving in to the pressure being developed by senior corporators who had staked claim to the post, lying vacant for nearly a year now.

Congress state spokesperson Manish Doshi said, Shehzad Khan Pathan is a young leader and will effectively take forward the mission of working for the people’s cause. The formula of one LoP for one year and thus a total of four LoPs for the remaining four-year term has been approved after a consultation. The three other names will be declared at an appropriate time.

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On January 9, eleven corporators submitted their resignations to state Congress president Jagdish Thakor over differences over the selection of the LoP. Monday, Congress issued show cause notices to four of the corporators for breach of discipline.

The notices demanding a written explanation within seven days were issued to Raja shriben Kesari, Jamnaben Vegda, Kamlaben Chavda and Haji Ashraf Baig Mirza. The party took action against them after they went out in public and the media against the party’s decision alleging rude behaviour towards women by Pathan.

The resenting corporators had objected to the appointment of Pathan as the LoP claiming him to be an immature person who should not be selected over experienced and senior corporators whom they said have devoted decades to public welfare and the party.

When questioned on the unhappy corporators, Doshi said, the party is confident that they will leave aside their resentment and work as a united force in the corporation.

Pathan, who is also the national secretary of the Youth Congress, had sparked controversy when he met AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi during his visit to the city in September last year. The name was finalised after a consultation process with 24 Congress corporators and all the four MLAs on January 9. Congress leader Naresh Rawal and MLA CJ Chavda, who were appointed as observers for the purpose, discussed the matter with all the 24 corporators and Ahmedabad MLAs along with the state president.

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