Former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel, whom Narendra Modi had dethroned in 2001, said on Tuesday he would be "actively working" against him during the assembly polls if he was allowed by the BJP to continue in office.
"I am not against the BJP but I am against Modi and I will be working against him during the polls. Modi has finished the party and its organisation. It's only a one-man show in the government as well as in the party," said Patel, who was responsible for building the BJP's base in the state.
Officially the party refused to comment on this.Patel indicated creating a third front, which would provide a platform to bring together BJP, RSS and VHP leaders who are opposed to Modi during the assembly polls, scheduled to be held in 2012.
"Except propaganda and marketing gimmicks, Modi is hollow and has nothing to offer. I have been chief minister of Gujarat twice and it was during my tenure the government brought out the country's first port privatisation policy and first private railway line. But I have no habit of boasting about what I have done," Patel said while taking a dig at Modi's media campaign, for which American PR firm APCO has been roped in.
Recently, Patel met BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Arun Jaitley and others to "apprise them about the situation in Gujarat". He has also been holding social and community functions and public meetings to air his views on the state and its affairs under Modi.
"I have sought the intervention of the high command about saving the BJP, which has been 'Modified' in Gujarat. Let's see what decision the party takes," said Patel, considered the undisputed leader of the powerful Patel community.
"Under his (Modi's) rule, the people, particularly the poor and marginalised sections of society, feel alienated and I am trying to give them and common BJP workers a voice. A chief minister cannot and must not work for only a handful of industrialists and businessmen."