The depiction of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as Lord Krishna by his supporters has given BJP dissidents fresh ammunition with which to target him ahead of the assembly election.
The rebels, led by suspended leader Gordhan Zadafia, have demanded that the party high command take action against Modi failing which they will take “corrective steps” of their own. Zadafia has written to party chief Rajnath Singh objecting to the posters, which apart from Modi depict senior party leaders, including Keshubhai Patel and himself, as the Kauravas. “Let him (Modi) think he is Lord Krishna but why should Patel and I be projected as Kauravas,” he asked.
It all began when BJP workers presented a portrait to Energy Minister Saurabh Dalal in Bhavnagar on his 50th birthday. The portrait on one side had state BJP president Purushottam Rupala as Yudhisthir, Saurabh Dalal as Arjun and the CM as Krishna, complete with Sudharshan Chakra. On the facing side was the rebel army, the Kauravas, with Patel and even some suspended MLAs.
State BJP spokesman Yamal Vyas said: “Some wellwishers of the party might have done this, but it is not the official position of the BJP. In a way, every election is a ‘dharmayudh’ and this one will be too.” But Zadafia, who was home minister earlier, isn’t buying this. He alleged it was a “conspiracy” of the CM to “insult” Patel. “Why doesn’t the party high command take action against Modi for showing a senior leader in poor light? Disciplinary action should be taken against him,” he said. Asked why Patel was silent on the issue, he said the former CM did not want to “stoop” to Modi’s level.
Zadafia has sent copies of the letter to A.B. Vajpayee, Arun Jaitley, M. Venkaiah Naidu and M.M. Joshi besides VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia.