Keshubhai Patel refuses to campaign for BJP in GujaratNovember 25th, 2007 - 4:23 pm ICT by admin
Rajkot (Gujarat), Nov 25 (ANI): Sulking former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel has opted out of campaign for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the State Assembly elections in Gujarat next month.
A dissident BJP leader in Saurashtra region, who was denied BJP ticket for his proximity to Patel, said the party would face a tough time defending 38 of the 58 seats it won in the 2002 polls in its stronghold, the Kutch-Saurashtra region.
“There will be tremendous difference this time, said Tapubhai Limbasiya, a dissident BJP leader in Rajkot.
Based on his observations during his visit to the region, Limbasiya said: I can say with surety that Congress will get at least 32 seats from Saurashtra.”
Meanwhile, the Congress is buoyant with the turnaround of events after Keshubhai Patel’s son, Bharat Patel, also declined BJP’s offer for a berth in the State polls.
Congress will be benefited especially in Saurashtra. By using names of Keshubhai Patel we can benefit a lot and will at least get 40 seats in the region, said Vithal Radadiya, a Congress leader.
Radadiya had recently organised a rally in Dhoraji, which was graced by no other than Keshubhai Patel.
Despite no love lost between Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Keshubahi Patel, the BJP believes that he would not do anything that would harm the party.
I know his health may not permit him to go out and campaign, but still his blessings and good wishes will always be there for BJP,” said S S Ahluwalia, a senior BJP leader.
The two-time Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel had to hand over the power to firebrand Narendra Modi in October 2001.
Keshubhai Patel, who still nurses the idea to become Gujarat Chief Minister, is livid with the working style of Modi, and also with the fact that deputies close to him are meted out a cold shoulder by Modi.
Six BJP MLAs — Dhiru Gajera (Surat), Bechar Bhadani, Bavku Unghad, Balu Tanti, Gopal Dhua and Narendrasinh Jadeja — have resigned from the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, as well as from the primary membership of the BJP.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi who is the star campaigner for the BJP, has often been accused by human right activists of fomenting communal violence in Gujarat before the 2002 State Assembly elections.
Over 36 million voters will elect the 182-member Assembly in Gujarat as the term of the State’s Legislative Assembly is due to expire on December 26.
The first phase of elections in Gujarat will be held on December 11 and second phase on December 16. The counting of votes will taken place on December 23
The BJP managed to win 127 seats, while the Congress party was able to win only 51 seats in the 2002 Gujarat Assembly polls. The Janata Dal (United) and independents won two seats each. (ANI)