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Former Gujarat CM attacks Modi, plans to quit BJP
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October 10, 2007 14:07 IST
Dissidents in Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party got a boost when former chief minister Suresh Mehta on Wednesday announced his plans to quit the saffron party and attacked Chief Minister Narendara Modi and senior leader L K Advani.

"There is no democracy in BJP at present. Modi is fascist, for whom the high command adopts another standard. Even senior BJP leader L K Advani has changed; he reacts and acts differently. Hence, there is very little reason for me to continue in the BJP," he said.

Asked whether he was planning to quit the BJP with which he has an association spanning 50 years, Mehta told PTI: "I am likely to quit the party, but not right now."

He also said that he was not in touch with any party leader, including party president Rajnath Singh. Asked which political party he would join on quitting the BJP, Mehta said, 'all avenues are open to me.'

Attacking Modi, Mehta said he was ready to withdraw from public life if the chief minister proves his claim that Gujarat is totally crime-free and safe.

"I am ready to withdraw from public life if Modi proves that the crime-rate has decreased in Gujarat during his tenure of six years," Mehta, who replaced Keshubhai Patel for a brief period as chief minister after an open rebellion by Shankarsinh Vaghela in the last quarter of 1995, said.

The same year, BJP was voted to power with a thumping majority.

Sidelined after having fallen out with Modi, the rebel leader from Gujarat's backward Kutch region is now in the dissident group that comprises former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, ex-Union Minister Kashiram Rana, and five suspended BJP legislators.

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