THE BJP’S plan to create a rift within the dissident camp in the state suffered a setback on Friday with former chief minister Keshubhai Patel’s son rejecting the offer to contest the election on a party ticket.
The BJP’s central leaders, now engaged in finagling the list of nominations for the first phase of polls, had leaked out the information earlier this week that Keshubhai’s son Bharat has been offered the deputy chief minister’s post and the party ticket from Visavadar constituency, the seat his father once represented.
As the idea of Keshubhai’s son becoming deputy CM under Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whose “autocratic” rule the dissident leader has described as a “mini-emergency”, looked ridiculous, the purpose of “leaking” the information was seen as the BJP’s way of conveying that the dissidents have been won over or, at least, their ranks have been broken.
Bharat said he rejected the offer in deference to the feelings of his father, who contributed to the growth of the party but has now been sidelined.
Keshubhai has already announced that he will not campaign for the BJP during this election.