Former chief minister Keshubhai Patel’s name is doing the rounds in the list of new Governors likely to be appointed, after indications that the Governors appointed by the UPA might be asked to resign.
Patel had won the Visavadar Assembly seat after founding the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) which merged with the BJP just before the last Lok Sabha elections. By then Patel quit the Assembly to have his son fight from the same seat, but he lost. Now Patel’s name is being considered for the Governor’s job in neighbouring Rajasthan.
Once close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Patel had distanced himself from him and the BJP, but later he changed his mind for securing the political career of his son and returned to the BJP fold. That Patel and Modi have mended relations is evident from the fact that Modi was very upset with Patel’s son Bharat losing in Visavadar Assembly by-poll last month. Secondly, when current Chief Minister Anandi Patel was being sworn in, Modi had himself walked up to Kesubhai and ushered him to the stage, a gesture Modi offers rarely to people.
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With Patel’s political rehabilitation by moving him to Rajasthan Raj Bhavan, Modi will have ensured further calm in the state politics of Kadva-Leuva Patel factions in Saurashtra next year, when tickets will be distributed for local body elections in municipal corporations.
Meanwhile, Patel is busy regaining fitness after a successful knee surgery. He has chosen to stay off the media.