Suresh Mehta, a former BJP chief minister, finally quit the party on Saturday after complaining for three years against Narendra Modi’s style of functioning. He held LK Advani responsible for “surrendering” the party in the state to “an autocratic Modi”.
“I am ending my association with the BJP after having served it for five decades because I feel my party is committing suicide for an individual (Modi). I do not want to be a part of any undemocratic political outfit,” he said.
Mehta, who was chief minister for a brief period of 11 months in 1995, charged party stalwart Advani with turning a blind eye towards Modi’s activities.
“I do not know what were the compulsions of Mr Advani for surrendering the Gujarat party to an autocratic individual. Senior leaders, including Keshubhai Patel, met him so many times to apprise him of the dictatorial style of Modi’s functioning, but he never acted.”
Charging the central leadership with imposing Modi on the party, Mehta said there was no inner party democracy in the state BJP. “Why are Advani and Rajnath Singh unable to control Narendra Modi? Why can’t they tell him that his utterances against Constitutional bodies and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are hurting the party’s image at the national level?”
Asked about his next move, the leader said: “I will campaign to oust Narendra Modi from the state so that democracy returns here.”
The BJP dismissed Mehta’s resignation and allegations as a non-issue. “We were aware about his move. Inner-party democracy of the BJP is for all to see, as it tolerated an indisciplined person like him for so long,” said general secretary Arun Jaitley.