Thursday, July 12, 2012

'Modi hasn't been able to match the election results that Keshubhai achieved'

For the first time in Gujarat, 'get well soon' cards, posters and pamphlets are being used to campaign against Modi -- in support of Joshi. Will this strategy work? Some believe you and your friend Keshubhai Patel are behind this. Your comments.
We have nothing to do with the BJP, as far as my party and I am concerned. We have started a new party and we do not use such tricks. I have always worked at the grassroot level and I continue to do so.
The BJP won 117 seats in 1995 assembly elections, 121 in 1998, 126 in 2002 and 117 in 2007. When the party is getting nearly two-thirds majority in the last four elections, why is Modi so important for the party in Gujarat?
In 1995, when the BJP won and Keshubhai became the chief minister, there was no communal rift in the state, and the party did well. There was an all-round bonhomie in Gujarat.
Soon after, Shankersinh Vaghela divided the party and the government collapsed. The good work done by Keshubhai was appreciated by the people. So, in 1998, we got two-thirds majority again, though Modi was not present in the state. The two general secretaries were Joshi and I.
Similarly, in 1995, during the municipal and the zila parishad elections, the BJP won all the 18 districts under the leadership of Patel. Even after 10 years of Modi's rule in the state, he has not been able to match the election results that Keshubhai had achieved.
Since Keshubhai, former Chief Minister Suresh Mehta and you have joined hands against Modi, the BJP's central leadership is not even ready to discuss issues with Keshubhai. How will you dent the Gujarat chief minister in the election?
The MahaGujarat Janta Party has completed four years. During this stint, we have managed to form our base in every district of the state. As far as the old leadership of the BJP is concerned, Keshubhai, Kashiram Rana, A K Patel and Mehta are with us. They take part in our public meetings.
Keshubhai had met senior leaders of the central leadership and that was his last effort. If the central leadership fails to act against Modi again, all these senior leaders will take a decision. In the coming days, the MJP will become the larger third front in Gujarat. The decision will be taken by these senior leaders, and I am only visualising it.
The BJP is closely watching the developments. The day a decision is taken, we expect one-third of the BJP will automatically join hands with us. There are many members of legislative assembly, members of Parliament and other senior ministers in touch with us. They are all waiting.