25 January, 2021

The Ellisbridge Factor

Pandya's murder has inspired the despondent dissidents to fight back Updates

The Ellisbridge Factor
In life, former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya was a headache for Narendra Modi. In death, he seems to have become a cancer that is spreading through the state BJP, an organisation that Modi has so far bossed over unquestioned. Five months after Modi led the BJP to a huge electoral victory, the dissent within had been quelled, except for the solitary voice of Pandya. But with his daylight murder in Ahmedabad, Modi-baiters in the BJP are back in business.

And when deputy prime minister L.K. Advani ticked off Modi publicly at the condolence meeting for Pandya in Ahmedabad last week—saying it was a mistake not to have let Pandya contest from Ellisbridge—it was green light for all those dissenters who'd thought the battle was already lost. Says a party MLA: "Modi has very little real support. Most of us are much too scared of him. When Advaniji spoke out, it seemed there is a light at the end of this terrible tunnel."

It did not take long for insiders to sound out the media that the rumblings of disenchantment had begun. There has been talk of 60 MLAs forming a lobby,...


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