Skip to main content

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 bête 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.

Comments

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Drèze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.