Taking a fight against Narendra Modi a step further, former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel on Monday launched a new party 'Gujarat Parivartan Party' and pledged to rescue people of Gujarat from emergency like situation allegedly created by the ruling Modi government in state.
The 83-year-old veteran politician, who quit BJP couple of days ago along with six-time MP from Surat Kashiram Rana, said the new party would have a 'people centric' approach and would focus on bringing transparency in administration. Both Patel and Rana had sent their resignations to party chief Nitin Gadkari on Saturday last week.
The announcement comes ahead of the assembly polls in the state, which is scheduled to take place by December this year. Patel has been openly critical of Modi for his autocratic way of functioning. In a blog recently, Patel had written that the situation in Gujarat was 'worse' than the emergency era in India.
Patel was replaced by Modi as chief minister in 2001. Since then, he had been in political isolation. After announcing the new party, Patel said, "The objective of the new party is to bring transparency in politics of the state and restore the pride of Gujarat which was lost due to Modi."
He further said, "We will have a human centric focus and work towards the welfare of the people of Gujarat, with ultimate aim of development of the nation on the whole." When asked if he had support of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Patel quipped, "RSS never declares its support to any one in open."
He also welcomed the support of RSS leader Pravin Maniar and VIshwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), international general secretary Pravin Togadia. Both of them had expressed support to Patel in separate events last week.
Patel was asked if he would contest the assembly polls later this year against Modi, to this the veteran politician said, "I would contest if my party wants, and it could be against anyone," indirectly hinting at he could even contest against Modi.
The ex-CM has support of former chief minister Suresh Mehta, and former BJP minister Gordhan Zadafia, who has severed ties with the party and floated his out outfit the Mahaguajrat Janta Party (MJP).
The dissident leader, Patel had expressed grief towards increasing controversies within BJP over chief minister, Narendra Modi, while announcing his resignation from the BJP.