Skip to main content

Worried PM "urgently summons" ex-Gujarat CM Anandiben following BJP's flop show at Surat Patidar meet

Anandiben Patel at Surat BJP meet
By Darshan Desai
The shocker that the Gujarat BJP received in presence of party president Amit Shah in Surat on Thursday night, when its first attempt to grapple with the agitating Patidars came a cropper, has led to a worried Prime Minister Narendra Modi urgently summon ousted Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel to Delhi.
Anandiben, who had to unceremoniously go just over a month ago, left in a private plane on the call of the prime minister for an urgent meeting, sources close to the development revealed.
Anandiben was present on the dais when young Patidars disrupted a rally that was billed to be the party’s show of Patel strength, forcing Amit Shah, chief minister Vipay Rupani and state BJP president Jitu Vaghani cut short their speeches to minutes. Such a show of protest is unusual for the BJP in Gujarat.
The ‘rajasva samaroh’ or royal felicitation of Patel legislators was organized by top real estate developers and diamond merchants of Surat to express the community’s confidence in the BJP government, and also to send out a message to the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) led by 23-year-old Hardik Patel that the Patidars had returned to the BJP.
The show of strength, according to reliable sources, was the brainchild of Amit Shah.
The state government had pulled out all stops to make the function a success. But it all came a cropper following ruckus at the meeting with Shah, chief minister Rupani, Jitu Vaghani and union minister Parshottam Rupala to cut short their speeches and make a hurried exit.
Amit Shah at Surat BJP meet
The police caned the mobs and burst teargas shells to quell rioting protestors. Among those watching the proceedings was former chief minister Anandiben along with other Patel legislators of the party.
Anandiben had quit just over a month ago, ostensibly for the inability of her government to ‘tackle’ the Patidar and later the Dalit agitation. The coup of her ouster and replacement with a novice minister of her cabinet, who had only a few months ago been made state party chief, was attributed to Amit Shah.
Vijay Rupani is Amit Shah’s protégé and Gujarat; for all practical purposes, Gujarat is now seen as under Shah’s proxy rule.
All through Narendra Modi’s over 12-year-long rule of the state, Anandiben and Amit Shah were considered his closest confidantes, but both remained daggers drawn. Even as Modi moved to Delhi to take over as prime minister, he ensured the chief ministership for Patel and the national party’s presidentship for Shah.
But that did not reduce their political rivalry. Even their supporters have remained at loggerheads.
Even after the change of guard in Gujarat, those considered close to Anandiben, whether politicians or civil servants, are in the process of being edged out. This has reportedly angered Anandiben and is not expected to let go any chance to get even with her political detractors within the party.
Patel agitators at Surat meet
Sources close to her claim it is with this in mind that she has so far turned down offers of other good placements including those as Governor.
The setback at Thursday night’s Surat event is cause for her to smirk. It was the turn of Shah to face the heat. A former home minister, Shah had ensured massive police presence at Surat. Two Inspector Generals of Police, one DIG, six DCPs, 13 ACPs, 29 inspectors, 70 police sub-inspectors, besides 2,000 policemen. But this could not deter the PAAS supporters.
The function was an issue of prestige and a target of one lakh audience was set, but over 15,000 turned up. The episode is an indicator that the BJP has a problem at hands in terms of a major vote bank which cannot be wished away.
Also that the damaging charges being leveled against Hardik Patel recently of bungling of PAAS funds and autocratic behaviour, through some of his supporters, have not dented his popularity. The PAAS, in turn, has got a shot in the arm.

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.