Former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela on Tuesday joined the Jan Vikalp forum that was started by his supporters, ANI reported, which is being viewed as a third front. The development comes ahead of the Assembly elections that will be held in Gujarat later this year.

On July 21, Vaghela had quit all party posts in the Congress, and as leader of Opposition in Gujarat. In August, he had also resigned from his position as a Member of Gujarat’s Legislative Assembly.

Vaghela said Jan Vikalp was not a political party, but just a front. “I will not criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Amit Shah, but will criticise the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state,” India Today quoted him as saying. “Similarly, I will not criticise Congress President Sonia Gandhi either.”

The former Gujarat chief minister said people in the state were fed up of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress and were looking for an alternative. “It is a myth to say that an alternative political force cannot work in Gujarat,” he said.

The senior party leader had quit the Congress after reports emerged that he had demanded to be its chief ministerial face for the Gujarat Assembly elections. However, he was told that it would be unfair to select him over other Gujarat party leaders such as Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki.

Vaghela had defied the Congress’ whip in the Rajya Sabha election held in Gujarat in August 2017 and had voted for the BJP.