AHMEDABAD: Sulking Gujarat Congress MLA and Koli community leader Kunvarji Bavaliya today gave a crucial meeting on 2019 polls here a miss.
Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly Paresh Dhanani, however, said Bavaliya, who represents Jasdan seat in Rajkot district, had informed about his absence in advance.
MLAs Mohammad Javid Pirzada and Vikram Madam who were also reported to be unhappy with the party attended the meeting of the Congress leaders and MLAs, which was chaired by state Congress in-charge Rajeev Satav, at the state Congress headquarters.
The meeting was convened to discuss a strategy to take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.
Rubbishing reports that Bavaliya was unhappy, Dhanani accused the ruling BJP was spreading such rumours.
"Both Vikram Madam and Pirzada were present in today's meeting to decide a road map for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Kunvarjibhai could not come due to some reasons and he had already informed us about it," Dhanani told reporters.
"I think the BJP is spreading such rumours that our MLAs are unhappy.
The Congress believes in absolute democracy.
Be it a party leader or a booth level worker, everybody is given a chance to put forward his point of view," he said.
After calling on Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi last week, Bavaliya held a meeting on June 24 in Jasdan where he said his supporters were asking him to "think differently" now.
The senior leader had earlier openly expressed his displeasure with the state Congress leadership saying that he felt "ignored".
He had alleged that "No development work has been done in Jasdan despite my best efforts because I belong to the opposition party".
Bavaliya had also claimed that many Koli MLAs in both the BJP and the opposition Congress are being ignored.
Bavaliya, who enjoys a clout in numerically strong Koli community in Gujarat, had represented the Congress from Jasdan as an MLA from 1995 to 2007.
He was elected as an MP from Rajkot in 2009.
In 2017, he was once again elected as the MLA from Jasdan constituency in Rajkot district.