Surat city BJP president Nitin Bhajiyawala made a surprise change in the party organisation on Saturday by replacing veteran Patidar leader and vice-president of Surat city BJP unit Hasmukh Akbari with Mukesh Dudhagra, a party worker. Sources said that the infighting in different groups in Surat BJP had resulted into changes. Both Akbari and Dudhagra belong to Jamnagar district and in Surat live in Katargam area.
Akbari was made the vice-president of Surat city BJP unit in 2010 when Adajan BJP MLA Purnesh Modi was the president of the Surat city BJP. Purnesh Modi remained president for two terms and later Bhajiyawala, a BJP municipal councillor from Ward no. 20, Nanpura Athwa, was made Surat city BJP president on March 20, 2016. Akbari continued as vice-president.
Akbari, 50, said, “I have been with the party since 1989. I was the party vice-president for three terms and now I have been dethroned. However, the BJP is my second mother and I will be loyal to her till my last breath.”
He added, “In 2007, when the BJP was struggling after former CM Keshubhai Patel left the party, at that time, it was crucial for the party to carry out campaigning in Patidar-dominated areas. Those who are now holding big posts in the party at the state level used to call me to convince the Patidars to support the BJP. Now, when Patidars have turned against the BJP, there is nobody in the Surat BJP who can go near them. I will remain loyal to the party.”
Bhajiyawala said, “We have not removed him from the party, but due to his personal family responsibilities, he had told us to reliev him of the post of vice-president. There is no other issue.” ENS