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Modi, rebels break bread

delhi Updated: Aug 24, 2007 04:01 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
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IT DID seem like the Gospels' Last Supper but warring Gujarat BJP leaders including Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Keshubhai Patel, Kanshiram Rana and Vallabhbhai Katheria and MPs preferred not to show it.

Closeted face to face since the dissidence broke out against Modi, they were at BJP chief Rajnath Singh's residence for a dinner session. They were supposed to discuss how best the party could mobilize workers at "booth level" to win the assembly polls later this year and the Lok Sabha polls when they are held. They did but spoke in vague terms and were happy that the session was over.

L.K. Advani, who represents Gandhinagar in the Lok Sabha, Jaswant Singh, and Arun Jaitley, BJP general secretary who is in charge of election management in the state, attended the session that was supposed to soften up Keshubhai Patel. But his supporters seemed hardly satisfied, saying that the matters were to be settled on the ground.

Modi did not speak at all. He did not appear too pleased to be in their company though he sought to show that he was as much a loyal BJP worker as a Chief Minister, party officials said. Rajnath Singh tried to ease up the atmosphere by saying that Keshubhai Patel's “blessings” would remain with the party as everyone prepared for the poll.