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Dissidents in Gujarat BJP taking on Modi
Parag Dave in Ahmedabad | July 17, 2007 17:31 IST
The dissidents, who were till now working in the shadows of leaders like former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, former union Textile Minister Kashiram Rana and former Chief Minister Suresh Mehta, have gone a step ahead and are openly revolting against Modi.
This is happening when the likes of Patel and Rana have refrained from crossing the line of `indiscipline'. But the 'young turks' have gone all out to fight Modi. Surat MLA Dhiru Gajera, who has been airing his grievances against Modi in each and every forum, and some others feel that if they do not voice their views before the assembly election scheduled later in 2007, then their political career will suffer.
"We have decided to fight a do or die battle this time. That is the reason why many of us have made public statements against the chief minister without fear of disciplinary action," Gajera said over phone from Surat.
Another dissident MLA Bechar Bhadani, who has been slapped a show cause notice by the BJP, has said the state BJP is on the verge of ruin due to the "dictatorial" approach of Modi and has so challenged the chief minister to fight election against him in his constituency of Lathi.
MP Vallabh Kathiria and MLA Gordhan Jhadafiya are organising Patel community meetings at each taluka headquarters of Saurashtra telling farmers how the Modi government has failed to take care of their interests. They have held such meetings in 14 talukas of the Saurashtra and plan to cover Kutch, North Gujarat and central Gujarat, sources close to Jhadafiya said.
Former minister Bavku Unghad, who had earlier resigned from the Modi cabinet, even went to the extent of saying that he would vote for candidate of his choice in the presidential election. Four dissident MLAs have represented to the state Governor Naval Kishor Sharma that their phones are being tapped by the Modi government.
The defiance by the young turks has perturbed the state BJP leadership. The only thing they are saying at present is that they are taking note of the actions of the dissidence.