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Home > News > PTI

Ex-Gujarat CM Suresh Mehta quits BJP, slams Modi

December 08, 2007 16:34 IST
Last Updated: December 08, 2007 18:32 IST

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Crying foul that the top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party had 'surrendered' before the whims and fancies of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], veteran leader Suresh Mehta on Saturday quit from the party.

Mehta, who formally resigned from the primary membership of the party on Saturday, sent his resignation to Gujarat BJP president Purshottam Rupala.

While announcing his resignation, Mehta said he had dedicated 50 years of his life to help build the party.

"I am quitting the house (BJP) that I help build into a palace, because it is no more suited for my stay. When I saw that the entire party was surrendering before one person (Narendra Modi) then I thought it was best to quit," the former Gujarat chief minister remarked.

When asked what his next step would be, Mehta quipped, "I will continue to campaign in this elections to prevent Chief Minister Narendra Modi from returning back to power."

Mehta also attacked Modi and BJP leader L K Advani for the destruction of democracy within the party.      

Mehta also shared some of happenings of the year 2001, when the BJP suddenly removed Keshubhai Patel as the Gujarat chief minister and appointed Modi in his place.

"There were 117 BJP legislators in the state legislature then," Mehta said, adding, "None of these legislators were consulted before the then BJP president L K Advani removed Keshubhai and appointed Modi in his place."

"This approach of the party had hurt us then. But we choose to remain quite in the larger interests of the party," Mehta said.

Mehta said that the decision to appoint Modi as the chief minister was imposed on them.

"This decision (taken in 2001) has today become a liability for my party," he said.

Mehta held Advani responsible for the current crisis in Gujarat BJP. He felt that it was Advani who blindly supported Modi without worrying for the party's principles.

"Advani held a tight leash over me when I was the chief minister of Gujarat, but gave a free hand to Modi," he said, while questioning the 'double standards' adopted by Advani.

Reading out parts of BJP's constitution, Mehta said: "The party has strayed away from its objectives and principles. One power-hungry individual has eaten up an entire institution," he said, criticising Modi for destroying the democratic set-up within the party in Gujarat.

Mehta also gave various instances about how the Modi had unduly asserted his influence.

According to Mehta, the chief minister had a hand in refusing ticket to late Haren Pandya (state home minister) for the 2002 assembly elections.

"The BJP party high-command never checked Modi who refused to hear the problems of his legislators, insulted the constitutional bodies like the Election Commission (in 2002), the Prime Minister, Gujarat Governor, Supreme Court, National Human Rights Commission and other such offices," he alleged.

"By surrendering itself to an autocratic individual (Modi), the party has committed suicide," Mehta remarked.      

He also predicted that Congress will come to power in the upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat. "Congress will win 111 seats," he said.

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