Gujarat elections: Keshubhai Patel against Narendra Modi.

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Gujarat elections: Keshubhai Patel against Narendra Modi.May 13 Gujrat: It will be a tough time for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as, Keshubhai Patel, who was chief minister till he was replaced by Mr Modi in 2001, has been holding rallies targeting the powerful Patel community for the upcoming Gujarat elections. Mr Patel has been hinting that Mr Modi does not have his vote, at any rate.

The 82-year-old Patel, who remained in political wilderness for over four years, has not only embarked on to attending public meetings and functions, mainly organised by his community, but also been openly criticising Modi, while pitching for the change of current government.

Mr Patel has at four major public gatherings this year spoken against Mr Modi. On Saturday, he took aim at the chief minister on different fronts. He dismissed Mr Modi’s sadbhavna mission which has the chief minister fasting in different parts of the state, a tour he has controversially dedicated to promoting communal harmony. Patels, who constitute about 18 percent of state population, shifted their loyalty to BJP in Gujarat after former Congress chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki worked out a KHAM (Kshatriyas, Harijans, Adivasi (tribals) and Muslims) formula to politically alienate the powerful community.

“People can be won over by love, but not by taking them to your programme free of cost in state-owned buses..this is fake love for the  people,” Mr Patel said at a public function on Saturday.

He also said bureaucrats and policemen who fight for the truth “being suppressed”. He also said that, “Be it trains, buses, rickshaws, even at home, nobody feels safe. The claims of a secure Gujarat seem just a myth.”

In the run-up to 2007 elections Keshubhai Patel had initially taken a tough stand against Modi, however, he relented only after intervention and promises from party’s top leadership, sources close to Patel said.

Addressing a police academy on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, Mr Modi retaliated today by saying, ” There is a concerted attempt by forces and government in Delhi to defame the Gujarat police and injure its morale. But I congratulate the Gujarat police for remaining undeterred and ensuring that in the last 10 years, law and order has remained under control”. In absence of strong and credible opposition in Gujarat, Patel’s campaign against Modi is emerging a major factor in the run-up to the elections due in December this year.

Speaking at the diamond jubilee function of Baaj Khedwal Kelvani and Sanskriti Mandal, Modi said several attempts are being made to throttle truth in the state but Gujarat government would not be cowed down by such opposition and non-cooperation.

“Gujarat’s development is now being felt even abroad but certain elements cannot see it,” Modi said. He exuded confidence that people would themselves be able to find the “untruth”. The state has registered 11 per cent growth in agriculture, but some can’t see it, the chief minister said. Modi said although opportunities for the development of Gujarat existed in the past as well in the form of a beach at Mandvi, lions in Gir, Rann of Kutch, nobody had cared to project these state treasures for the promotion of tourism.

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Posted by on Monday, May 14th, 2012. Filed under Ahmedabad, Cities, India News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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