Keshubhai Patel

Published on Apr 15, 2004 10:43 AM IST

He was dubbed as 'symbol of ineptitude' after Jan 200 temblor and subsequently lost to Narendra Modi in intra-BJP power struggle.

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Two-time Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, who was dubbed as 'symbol of ineptitude' after Jan 200 temblor and subsequently lost to Narendra Modi in intra-BJP power struggle, still remains one of the tallest leaders of BJP in the state.

Born on 24th July 1930 in Rajkot, he is an ardent RSS supporter weilding considerable influence on a large chunk of the state BJP cadres. A father of 5 sons and one daughter, he is seen as father-figure by many of Gujarat BJP leaders too.

His first stint as CM began on 14.3.1995 but could last only till 21-10-1995. He came back as the Chief Minister on 4.3.1998 but had to quit on BJP high command's directive on 06-10-2001 following 'sheer irregularities' in relief works after Jan 26, 2000 quake that had killed thousands of people.

It was the general resentment over 'inadequate' quake relief works during his regime that finally saw Patel move out of the top job in favour of his innner-party bete-noire Modi. Since then he has kept a low profile but the fissures between the two keep showing from time to time.

Born in a farmer’s family in Rajkot, Keshubhai Patel started his career in public life as RSS Swayam Sevak. He has won all elections since becoming MLA for the first time in 1975. He was re-elected to the 10th Legislative Assembly from Visavadar Constituency (40). He had also been the Vice president and President of Gujaat Pradesh Jansangh.

He had held key posts Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation in 1975-76, Public Works Minister in 1977-80, Minister for Narmada, Water Resources, Transport and Ports from March 4 to Oct 26, 1990 and the Leader Opposition Leader from October 26, 1990 to March 1995.

His hobbies include philosophical reading, nature, music and tourism.

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