Former BJP minister and general secretary of Gujarat Parivartan Party Gordhan Zadaphia’s sharing of dais with Narendra Modi at a function of the Khodaldham Temple Trust on Tuesday is being viewed in political circles as an indication of Zadaphia’s effort to return to party fold.
Modi and Zadaphia did not interact with each other even once during the function, though both were seated in the front row, with attendees comprising over 50,000 farmers from politically important Saurashtra. Trust leaders said that inviting the CM to the function and the latter having attended it is in itself a big political development because Zadaphia — Modi’s bete noire — is one of the important members of the trust. Sources said that inviting CM to the function was not possible without Zadaphia’s consent.
Sources said that since GPP president Keshubhai Patel’s son Bharat Patel recently joined BJP, pressure is mounting on Zadaphia to open a channel of communication with BJP. According to sources, it was Naresh Patel, a prominent Leuva-Patel businessman, who is playing an important role in this new development.
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With the latest political developments like emergence of Aam Aadmi Party and the response from the public across the state, a debate has begun on now to bring Zadaphia back to the party, sources said. Zadaphia, who quit BJP along with Keshubhai before the 2007 Assembly polls over their differences with Modi’s style of functioning, was BJP’s general secretary and is known for his organisational ability. Ever since GPP was set up with Keshubhai Patel as its president, Zadaphia has been running it single-handedly because of Keshubhai’s age and illness. But GPP could not perform well due to Modi’s tight grip over the electorates and it won only two seats in December 2012 Assembly polls.