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Home > News > PTI

Why BJP is groping in the dark in Gujarat

April 29, 2007 15:24 IST

In an election year, the state Bharatiya Janata Party is finding itself in the dock on the issues of its parliamentarian arrested in human trafficking racket and allegations on its leaders in the fake encounter case.

The Congress and the dissidents within the BJP are seeing this as a major chance to score a point over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Even BJP leaders in Gujarat feel that party's image has taken a beating due to two controversial issues that have cropped up just when the term of its government is to end in December this year.

"It would definitely affect the party image. People have a negative feeling about the incidents," a dissident leader of the BJP said, adding, "At present, party workers are finding it difficult to reply to the questions of the people on these two issues."    

"The Katara case and the fake encounters taken place during the rule of the Modi government will be main issues during the coming election," senior Congres leader Arjun Modhvadia said.

Babubhai Katara, BJP's parliamentarian from Dahod, was arrested for human trafficking on April 18.

"The BJP should be ashamed to go to people for votes after these things have come out," the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, added.

The Congress has leveled serious allegation saying that the senior BJP leader Om Mathur, Minister of State for Home Amit Shah and Modi are responsible for hatching the conspiracy of the fake encounter, for which three IPS officers have been arrested recently.

The BJP dissidents, who had become dormant after the thumping victory of the party in local body elections, are once again stirred into action following the two cases. They are regrouping to attack the Modi government on both the issue, sources in the dissident camp said.

Former state general secretary Nalin Bhatt, who is close to the dissident leader Keshubhai Patel and is under suspension for anti-party activities, said, "The party has lost its credibility in the general public due to these two incidents."

"Though I am out of the party, I have a strong feeling that this one man show (of Modi) will not last for long," Bhatt added.

The state BJP on the other hand has maintained a studied silence so far regarding the two incidents. When contacted, its leaders refused to comment on the issues.

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