Wednesday, October 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I N   N E W S

Modi may succeed Patel
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
A reluctant Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel has tendered his resignation to BJP Central leadership and his successor will be elected at a meeting of the state BJP Legislature Party in Gandhinagar tomorrow, party sources said here today.

Former BJP national President Kushabhau Thakre and party Vice-President in charge of Gujarat Madan Lal Khurana are going to Gujarat tomorrow as Central observers for the meeting.

According to sources, BJP national General Secretary Narendra Modi is likely to be the next Chief Minister even as there has been opposition from at least 28 MLAs belonging to the Keshubhai Patel faction.

Mr Patel, who along with BJP’s state unit President R.S. Rana left for Gujarat tonight, will submit his resignation to state Governor S.S. Bhandari tomorrow shortly before the legislature party meeting.

Mr Patel, who had submitted his resignation to BJP national President Jana Krishnamurthi late last night, was visibly annoyed in the manner in which he was asked to quit.

“It would have been good had there been a consensus. The procedure adopted in my removal was improper,” a visibly agitated Mr Patel told newspersons before leaving for Gujarat.

Although in his resignation letter Mr Patel had expressed his readiness to quit from the primary membership of the BJP and from the Assembly and to take “political sanyas”, today he denied having said anything about taking “political sanyas”.

This move of Mr Patel is being seen here at the BJP headquarters as a pressure tactic to get installed a successor of his choice.

Mr Thakre, who was present during the two-day consultations held by Mr Krishnamurthi with Gujarat leaders, told newspersons that workers in the state had demanded the revamping of the leadership and the party set-up there after the party’s debacle in the recent byelection to the Sabarmati Assembly constituency.Back

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