24 July, 2021

Shaky Ground

The parivar no longer finds Keshubhai hot property

Shaky Ground
Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel is still feeling the aftershocks of the January 26 quake that devastated his state. He's cut such a sorry figure that the Sangh parivar has initiated moves to find a younger, 'cleaner' replacement for the 71-year-old CM. No change will be made in a hurry. Keshubhai is likely to continue for the next six months to a year. If the parivar succeeds in finding a candidate acceptable to all factions, it would ideally want him to lead the party to the assembly polls in March 2003.

Union home minister L.K. Advani denies any such move, but Sangh strategists believe Keshubhai has become a symbol of ineptitude. Says a senior rss functionary: "Remove him and a lot of anger against the bjp regime will evaporate." Ironically, they feel even the relief work by rss cadre will not be enough to repair the bjp's image. A few thousand cadre alone can't combat the growing anti-incumbency, they feel.

A Gujarat minister cites the example of the relief work done by the rss when the Morvi dam burst. "But in that area too we lost badly to the Congress in...

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