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BJP observing Gujarat rebels' moves
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October 16, 2007 13:03 IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been facing dissident activity in his state ever since he was re-elected chief minister in 2002.

His inability or plain refusal to deal with dissidence has led to such a state that former Chief Minister Suresh Mehta, and senior leaders Vallabhbhai Katheria and Goverdhan Zadaphia, have made repeated trips to the Capital to initiate talks with the Congress for a joint effort to bring Modi down.

Sources in the BJP say that senior party leaders including Modi are aware of the fact that rebel leaders are in touch with senior Congress office-bearers, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi's [Images] political secretary Ahmad Patel.

"Modi is not interested in pacifying anyone other than Keshubhai Patel," said a source in the BJP.

Out of all the rebel leaders, Suresh Mehta has a good chance of joining the Congress, according to sources in the party.

"Goverdhan Zadaphia and some of the others are tainted by their association with the Gujarat riots. Zadaphia was a minister of state for home in Gujarat when the riots occurred," said a senior Congress leader.

The Congress may also help the rebels put up some candidates in the Saurashtra region from where many of these leaders hail from.

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