When ‘PM Deve Gowda’ dismissed Gujarat BJP govt. for lack of nos. Vajubhai Vala was Gujarat BJP President
The year was 1996. A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat had won a floor test in the assembly on September 18. But within 24 hours, a United Front prime minister had recommended to the President to dismiss the state government based on a report by the governor of the state. The then Gujarat BJP president had cried foul, calling it a “murder of democracy”.
The prime minister who recommended dismissal of the BJP state government: HD Deve Gowda.
The Gujarat state BJP president who decried the then PM’s decision: Vajubhai Rudhabhai Vala.
Senior BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee had then stated that Deve Gowda betrayed him claiming the then prime minister assured him the Centre would not intervene in Gujarat.
The wheel has turned full circle. Today, Vajubhai Vala is the governor of Karnataka and Deve Gowda’s party Janata Dal (Secular), led by his son HD Kumaraswamy, is seeking to form a government in the state with the help of Congress. But the single-largest party, the BJP with 104 seats in the 224-member assembly, has been invited by the governor to form the government, and given 15 days to prove its majority on the floor of the assembly.
Vala started as a pracharak in the Rashtriya Swamyasevak Sangh (RSS) before joining the BJP. He was elected as an MLA from Rajkot for seven terms and has held crucial portfolios of finance and revenue in the state, apart from being speaker of the Gujarat assembly. He is known in Gujarat as the ‘pani wala’ (water) minister for his efforts in securing water for his parched constituency,Rajkot, the 80-year-old Vala has presented a record 18 budgets in his home state.
He was in the running to succeed Modi as the CM of Gujarat, but when Anandiben Patel was chosen instead, Modi handed a gubernatorial post to him. Vala became the governor of Karnataka in September 2014, months after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime took charge.