Firing a fresh salvo against Narendra Modi, veteran BJP leader Keshubhai Patel on Sunday asked the people to beware of "braggarts" and bring about a change in the next assembly elections, while heaping praise on Modi-detractor Sanjay Joshi for his "dedication" to the party.
"Nobody can lock my mouth and stop me from expressing my views under the guise of party discipline as enough is enough and I will not keep my mouth shut," said the BJP leader who has been vocal since last few months against Modi and had even stayed away from the two-day state executive meeting held in Rajkot ahead of assembly elections later this year.
Addressing Adivasi Adhikar Jagran rally at Kankodakoi village in Panchmahals district, organised by a social organisation affiliated to Maha-Gujarat Janta Party of former BJP leader Gordhan Zadafia, Patel said that "one should beware of lanpot sankh (a Gujarati proverb meaning a person who gives false promises or brags)".
Without taking Modi's name, Patel urged 82 lakh-strong tribal population in the state to bring around a change in Gujarat in the next assembly elections due later this year.
Further whipping up anti-Modi sentiment, Patel criticised the treatment meted out the chief minister's bete noire Sanjay Joshi from the party.
"Joshi who is committed and dedicated party worker should not have been treated in such humiliating manner," he said.
A former RSS pracharak and BJP general secretary Joshi resigned from the party on Friday apparently after the party top brass showed him the door at the behest of Modi
Patel had said that people of Gujarat and especially his community (Patels) were living under fear in Modi's rule.
Ever since his unceremonious removal from power and Modi replacing him in 2001, Patel has come out openly against him only in the run up to the 2012 state elections.
Patel has been directly attacking Modi over his style of functioning and accused his government of discriminating against tribals.
Former chief minister Suresh Mehta and former union textile minister Kashiram Rana also slammed the Modi government and accused it of cheating the people of the state.