Dec 22: Finally Keshubhai Patel, one of the oldest and the most high profile rival of hindutva warrior Narendra Modi, has brought under tight grip by the Bhartiya Janta Party. The disciplinary action taken by BJP high commands against senior BJP leaders in Gujarat has mere confirmed the allegation of rebels that the central leadership revolves around Narendra Modi.
BJP on Friday issued show cause notices to former chief minister Keshubhai Patel and former union minister Kashiram Rana besides suspending two MPs- Vallabhai Kathiria and Somabhai Patel for anti-party activities.
The disciplinary action, in the interregnum when polling has ended in Gujarat but results are yet to be declared, has reflected the determination of the central leadership of the BJP to take immediate action and try and restore party image.
Though Mr. Patel, and the former Union Textile Minister, Kashiram Rana, who had been issued show-cause notices, did not openly campaign for the Congress in the Assembly elections, except they did share the dais with some Congress leaders on a couple of occasions where anti-Modi speeches were freely delivered.
However, the other two BJP leaders, Vallabh Kathiriya and Somabhai Patel, who have been suspended from the party, gave a call to voters to vote for the congress, only with a purpose to defeat Mr. Modi’s BJP. The former Chief Minister, Suresh Mehta, quit the party on December 8 on the Congress assurance to accommodate him in the list of candidate.
Giving reasons for disciplinary action, party leaders said that Keshubhai Patel was accused of publicly criticising the leadership and issuing statement in the form of advertisement in a local newspaper and Rana was caught for his controversial remark “wave of change” was sweeping Gujarat means party leaders explained that BJP was going to lose the election. Both the leaders Keshubhai and Rana was asked to reply within a week for issuing such a controversial remark that damaged the part’s reputations as well as its poll efforts.
The sources said another reason for this swift action, before the election results was due to come, as according to some exit poll surveys that if BJP fell some short of numbers for the making of government these former chief ministers could not create any complications in the government making process.
Keshubhai Patel could not be available for his comment on the party’s action as he was away from Gandhinagar for a family gathering and the sources close to him said Patel would not react before he received the show-cause notice.
Similar views had been expressed by Rana that he would give his comment after receiving the notice and studying it, as he had come to know about the notice from television channels.
“The action against the four should have come much earlier for the open ‘anti-party activities’ of the rebels,” said Vijay Rupani, the state BJP spokesperson.
Sources said that no doubt Modi had utilized the two days, when he was in the capital for the chief ministers’ meet on internal security, in getting favour of BJP’s top brass on matters relating to the state administration. “Modi was successful in impressing upon them that the time has come to take action against them, otherwise they will create fresh trouble in the formation of government after the results,” sources in the party said.
It is to be noted here that before taking action against Keshubhai and Rana, party’s central leadership had already suspended seven party MLA’s from his camp comprising former state home minister Govardhan Jhadaphia for anti-party activities. As per reports six of them had been accommodated and given party tickets by the Congress party.
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