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Opposing top Hindutva votary Zadaphia's move to join BJP, ex-Gujarat CM Suresh Mehta inches closer to AAP

By Our Representative
As a step to move closer to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), former BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta has declared that he will not side with one of Gujarat’s topmost Hindutva votaries, Gordhan Zadaphia, who has decided to rejoin the Bharatiya Janata Party a little over a year after he became part of the Sangh Parivar rebels to form the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). Perhaps the most important benefactors of Vishwa Hindu Hindu Parishad’s leader and Hindutva extremist Pravin Togadia, and state home minister during the 2002 riots, Zadaphia till now had been critical of Gujarat chief minister as a “fake Hindutva leader.”
Mehta, who was one of the founders of GPP along with another ex-CM Keshubhai Patel, in an open letter to Zadaphia has said the latter’s decision to rejoin the BJP was a “betrayal” of the cause for which the BJP rebels had formed the new party. Even a bigger betrayal was his decision to “merge” the GPP into the BJP. “If you want you can leave the GPP, but you have no right to dissolve the party like this. You must give us who do not want to join you into the BJP complete charge of the GPP, as we do not want to be party to your betrayal.”
Asking Zadaphia how did he explain his opposition to the Lokyukta bill of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who has sought to dilute the ombudsman body’s powers by corning the authority to appoint the Lokayukta, Mehta asked him, “How do you explain you decision to fall on the feet of the man whom you called a demon and a Hitler? Will you please hand over all the accounts of GPP to us, as also all the properties and membership details? Your feeble and comprising ways baffle us all. We cannot accept them.”
According to BJP insiders, Zadaphia’s decision to rejoin the BJP is part of the RSS strategy to dislodge the Congress from power at any cost. The RSS, these sources say, fears that in case Modi does not become Prime Minister, the Samjhauta Express blast case file may sound a death knell for the Sangh Parivar’s supreme leaders. “The file points to the involvement of people in the RSS. This would prove dangerous to everyone, including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat”, these sources point out. Zadaphia himself has not once, but several times, defended Modi’s in 2002 communal riots, saying he and Modi are in the same boat.
Modi, it is reliably learnt, has accepted Zadaphia by projecting the latter as the BJP’s candidate from Bhavnagar. By doing this, sources say, he wants to his longstanding desire – to politically finish off one of his biggest opponents in Gujarat, Bhavnagar MP and ex-state BJP president Rajendrasinh Rana, who is known to be close to Modi’s biggest bĂȘte noire in the RSS, Sanjay Joshi. Joshi currently lives with Rana in Delhi, which is cited as an example of closeness between the two.
Meanwhile, Mehta, who is in touch with one of AAP’s senior leaders, top Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan. Bhushan has already offered Mehta to join the party, it is learnt. One of the “plus points” of Mehta, AAP sources say, is his “liberal thinking” and his “non-RSS background.” Mehta has so far refused to join, but he told Bhushan that he and his supporters would “support AAP in every possible way in Gujarat.” Whether Mehta has enough support to ensure that AAP, still in its infancy, becomes strong is yet to be seen.

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