Gujarat's Keshubhai quits politics over poor health condition

The ailing octogenarian announces his resignation as the party president and asked general secretary Gordhan Zadafia to take over.

By Mahesh Trivedi

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Published: Mon 27 Jan 2014, 11:51 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:55 AM

Former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel who had set up the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) ahead of the December 2012 assembly elections hung up his boots on Saturday.

At a meeting of the GPP national executive in Gandhinagar near here, the ailing octogenarian announced his resignation as the party president and asked general secretary Gordhan Zadafia to take over as he would no more participate in active politics.

The GPP, in its maiden elections in December 2012, could win only two seats, both in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Not long ago, GPP MLA Nalin Kotadia had claimed that it was just a matter of time before Patel and the entire GPP merged with the BJP.

Modi had met Patel twice in the recent past, sparking speculations of the veteran politician’s possible return to the BJP.

Patel’s son Bharat joined the ruling Bharatiya Jaanata Party (BJP) last month, speculating rumours that the former grand old man of the saffron party might return to the BJP. But GPP chief Patel, who has been Gujarat chief minister twice, clarified that he was with the GPP founded by him and would continue to be with it.

Patel had not been attending GPP meetings of late because of his poor health.

In the same meeting, GPP vice-presidents former Chief Minister Suresh Mehta and A K Patel, both former BJP rebels, also quit their posts. Keshubhai, Mehta, Patel, and other BJP rebels who left the BJP or were expelled because of differences with Modi, formed GPP after merging it with Zadaphia-led Mahagujarat Janata Party.

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