Meet Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, The Man Who Once Vacated His Seat for PM Modi
With the prospect of a hung assembly (no party with a clear majority to form govt.), all eyes will be on the Governor, Gujarat veteran Vajubhai Vala, who will play a crucial role in government formation.
Vajubhai Vala, a former RSS man who was for years in the Gujarat BJP, and was the Finance Minister in CM Modi’s cabinet, As finance minister, he set a record by presenting the state budget 18 times. He was appointed Governor of Karnataka in 2014.
If the Governor follows convention, he is expected to invite the single largest party (BJP) to form the government. But this was not the case in states like Goa and Manipur, where the Congress turned out to be the single largest party in the assembly elections held last year. The governor, according to experts, can also call two parties who together have a majority.
Entirely up to Guv to appoint anyone he thinks proper. He's expected to be guided by his assessment of who is likely to command majority support in the House. He's expected to appoint only that person as CM who is likely to command majority support:S Kashyap,Constitutional expert pic.twitter.com/ySsrFrKipF
— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
Rajkot in Gujarat had been a Congress stronghold. But in 1984, the newly-formed BJP wrested this seat from the Grand Old Party. Since then, the BJP has not lost here. In the 1984 elections, Mr. Vala won the seat by beating Congress candidate Harshdaba Chudasa. Mr. Vala remained the MLA from Rajkot West till the year 2002, when he vacated the seat for BJP’s CM-designate Narendra Modi. The future PM won the election from Rajkot West after polling 45,298 votes. He had won seven elections from the seat.
In the 2002 assembly polls, PM Modi moved to contest from the Maninagar seat and Mr Vala was back to contesting from Rajkot West.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was chief minister in Gujarat, Mr Vala was a minister in his government. As the Gujarat finance minister, Mr Vala presented the state budget 18 times. He also served as the speaker of the Gujarat assembly.
Mr. Vala, the son of a Rajkot businessman, started his career as a sangh pracharak while still in school. He joined the Jana Sangh at 26 and eventually won a seat in the Rajkot Municipal Corporation in 1975, and in 1983, he became Rajkot mayor, according to a report in The Indian Express.
He joined the BJP’s predecessor Jana Sangh and soon grew close to Keshubhai Patel, a powerful Gujarat BJP leader who became the state’s Chief Minister in 1995.
In 1975, Mr Vala was elected to the Rajkot Municipal Corporation and served as the Mayor in the 80s and 90s. During the emergency, he was imprisoned in Sabarmati jail for 11 months.
When the BJP formed the government at the Centre in 2014, Mr. Vala was made the Governor of Karnataka.