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Keshubhai hopeful about a leadership change in Gujarat

August 19, 2005 01:22 IST

Former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel on Thursday said he was hopeful about bringing a leadership change in the state.

"We are hopeful that our efforts will succeed," Keshubhai, who is leading an anti-Narendra Modi front, told reporters at the airport in Ahmedabad on his arrival from New Delhi.

Keshubhai, along with other leaders of the anti-Modi camp, had on Thursday met senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in New Delhi including former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and appraised them of the brewing political dissent in Gujarat.

"On Thursday, we met senior BJP leaders and told them about the feelings of the legislators in the state," Keshubhai said.

A section of the MLAs, unhappy with Chief Minister Narendra Modi's style of functioning, have been demanding his ouster.

To why he did not meet BJP president Lal Kishenchand Advani, Keshubhai said, "Advani frequently comes to Gujarat and we always meet him." Advani will be visiting the state on August 20 and 21.

Meanwhile, the two state Cabinet Ministers Amit Shah and Kaushik Patel, who also arrived at the airport from Delhi where they had gone in support of Modi, refused to comment on the issue.

The BJP high-command had time and again refused to dethrone Modi, although Keshubhai had previously gone to Delhi and described the situtation in Gujarat as a 'mini-emergency'.

The dissidence within the party ranks became vociferous after Keshubhai returned from his United States trip two days ago.

Many 'unhappy' MLAs and members of Parliament lined up to meet Keshubhai and also 'inquired about his wife's health'. The assembly soon turned into a show of strength against Modi.

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