Former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel today resigned from the BJP, ostensibly to form a separate front that will contest against Narendra Modi in the state polls later this year.
Patel, who has been raising oppositions to the functioning of Modi’s government over the past few months, has sent his resignation to party chief Nitin Gadkari.
Addressing a press conference, the 83-year-old former chief minister announced his decision along with the resignation of Kanshiram Rana, a former Union minister, from the party.
“Kanshiram Rana and I, who have served the party for the last 60 years, are very sad to send our resignations, from the party that we have nurtured here, to party president Nitin Gadkari. We are not switching the party but we are going to form the real BJP,” Keshubhai said.
The former chief minister launched a stinging attack on Modi saying the party had become a one-man outfit and gone far away from the principles of the BJP. The poor and the middle class have become unhappy with the government and Modi was keeping away from everyone including the media to avoid
questioning, he said.
“BJP has not remained the real BJP which we had formed by working for the last 50 years. This party has become a one- man party and gone far away from its principals,” Keshubhai said, targeting Modi.
“I will tomorrow announce the formation of our new party,” he added.
Patel has been meeting with other former BJP leaders, who had left the party to form independent political parties, in order to form a new political front against the incumbent Gujarat Chief Minister.
“In this situation, I cannot remain silent and be a mute spectator, and that is the reason I have decided to form a new
party which will be the real BJP,” he said.
Modalities of forming the new party were being worked out, he said.
Sources close to Keshubhai said the new party would contest all the 182 Assembly seats.
The former Gujarat chief minister had made way for Modi and has since made multiple attempts to regain his place in the state.
with inputs from PTI