Kathiria’s pronouncement of regret moves Gujarat BJP

July 8th, 2008 - 12:58 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad, July 7 (IANS) Former central minister Vallabhbhai Kathiriya, who was suspended from Gujarat’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) after he sided with rebels, Monday formally apologised and resolved to fight the next Lok Sabha elections under “the BJP flag”. “Whatever I spoke against the party I express heartfelt regrets. I surrender to the party. Whatever the party decides I am ready to accept,” said the Rajkot MP.

Releasing a copy of his letter sent to state BJP president Purushottam Rupala to the media here, Kathiriya said that “Now I have come back to the BJP. I will fight the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll under the BJP flag.”

BJP leader I.K. Jadeja told the media there were some formalities and Rupala will forward the letter with his recommendation to the party central leadership.

Kathiriya, a staunch supporter of former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, had become bete noire of Chief Minister Narendra Modi by leading a campaign against the latter in Saurashtra with former home minister Gordhan Zadafia and senior Congress leader Vithal Radadiya during the December assembly elections.

Replying to a query, Kathiriya said: “Now there are no complaints against Modi.”

However, Zadaphia told IANS: “If anyone feels he has done something wrong in joining us, he is free to go. I have decided never to bow to the BJP.”

He said there was an undeclared emergency in the state an even ministers were scared to speak anything about their departments.

Sunil Oza, former Bhavnagar legislator and rebel leader who was suspended from the party, criticised Kathiriya.

“Like Kathiriya, the Gujarat BJP too has two faces. The idea to woo Kathiriya may be to create confusion in our rank and file. Fear dogs the BJP and our Jan Andolan (public agitaiton) turning into a party is preying in the minds of BJP,” Oza said.

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