Monday, December 3, 2012

After Narendra Modi, Keshubhai Patel too stirs for a yatra

Gujarat EDN
IE  05SEP2012

Twenty-two years after the two RSS veterans worked together to take out L K Advani's rath yatra from Somanth that eventually propelled BJP to power both at the Centre and in the state, Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his now bete noire and predecessor Keshubhai Patel are now set for a showdown, with both having planned their own statewide yatras in the run-up to Assembly elections due late this year.
While BJP has already announced plans of a month-long yatra led by Modi that is to start from pilgrim town of Ambaji on September 11, the Gujarat Parivartan Party, recently formed by Patel, is chalking out plans for its own campaign to oust Modi.
Modi's own yatra comes after a gap of 10 years. In 2002, Modi had set out on his Gaurav Yatra after the communal riots in a bid to seek a fresh mandate. At the end of it, he rode back to power with a thumping majority.
This time, in an apparent bid to woo young voters, Modi has scheduled the yatra to coincide with the ongoing celebrations of 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand.
On the other hand, Patel, who has been campaigning for almost a month now, plans to go all-out against Modi for the first time since he was ousted in 2001.
“We are in the process to finalise yatra details. It will cover all 182 Assembly seats,” said GPP general secretary Gordhan Zadaphia.