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Gujarat: Ex-CM Suresh Mehta to quit BJP
December 01, 2007 18:43 IST
In a jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the assembly polls, former Gujarat chief minister and senior leader Suresh Mehta on Saturday said he will resign from the party before the assembly elections to be later this month.
Mehta, who has been part of the trokia leading the rebel movement against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], had earlier declared that he would resign from the party.
"As per my earlier announcements, I will resign from the party. I would put in my papers before the elections, but I am yet to finalise the date," Mehta told PTI.
Two phase polls will be held on December 11 and 16.
Mehta has actively led the rebel movement against Modi by participating in various public meetings held under the banner of Sardar Patel Utkarsh Samiti, an umbrella group of BJP dissidents.
He had also negotiated with Congress leaders for election tickets to the rebel BJP legislators.
Soft-spoken Mehta had worked to prop up the rebel movement against Modi along with Keshubhai Patel, another former chief minister and ex-Union minister Kashiram Rana.
Mehta also played a role in inviting Uma Bharti's Bhartiya Janshakti to Gujarat ahead of the elections to give the ruling BJP a competitor.
Though Bharti has backtracked and ordered her 53 nominees to withdraw from poll fray, the BJS candidates are in no mood to heed to her instructions.