BJP rebels launch party to challenge Modi

September 11th, 2008 - 1:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyAhmedabad, Sep 11 (IANS) Hoping to play a greater role in Gujarat politics, rebels from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have set up a new party called the Mahagujarat Janata Party (MJP) with former home minister Gordhan Zadafia as its president.The party, which released its symbol and constitution Wednesday, believes in “integral humanism” as its core, said MJP general secretary and legislator Sunil Oza.

The party’s symbol is the conch and its colour a golden yellow to denote sacrifice.

The first convention of the MJP will be held in Ahmedabad on Sep 25 where the other office bearers would be decided.

According to Oza, many BJP rebels, most of whom have strong roots in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), could have contested the 2007 assembly polls as Independents or on a Congress ticket.

“For the sake of the party we sacrificed power and pelf,” Oza told IANS, stressing that the MJP would play its role as a regional party based on Hindu ideology.

In October last year, many BJP leaders unhappy with Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s autocratic style of functioning had formed the Sardar Patel Utkarsh Samiti (SPUS) - headed by Zadafia.

With help from the Congress and BJP heavyweights like former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, the SPUS ran an anti-Modi campaign. Amongst the others who supported it were former chief minister Suresh Mehta and senior MPs Kanshiram Rana and Vallabh Kathiria.

However, the rebels failed to sway the electorate and Modi won with a thumping majority.

Some rebels like Rana and Kathiria have since gone back to the BJP.

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