Harin Pathak, an MP considered a loyalist of L K Advani and not renominated from Ahmedabad East, has become the latest BJP leader to show signs of rebelling. He said Sunday he would consult party workers and declare his future plans after three days.
He said he was hurt by the way things were going in the BJP with “anti-BJP elements” being welcomed into the party. Film actor Paresh Raval has replaced him as the BJP candidate. Pathak is a seven-time MP from the seat and was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajapayee government.
Pathak called reporters to his home Sunday and said he was before the media because “activities that have taken place in the party in the last three months have hurt party workers. From the Congress the BJP has been inducting third- and fourth-grade turncoats. They abused the BJP and the Jana Sangh earlier but they are being felicitated. I feel ashamed, distressed.”
Since the December 2012 assembly elections, a number of Congressmen have joined the BJP. These include MP Vithal Radadiya and his MLA son Jayesh, besides Bavku Unghad, Jasa Barad, Rajendrasinh Chavda and Narhari Amin.
Pathak said the inductions have broken the morale of party workers. “Hundreds of party workers have been approaching me. I will consult them in the next three days and then declare my future course of action,” he said, parrying questions if he would quit the BJP and contest as an independent.
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To a question, Pathak said he spoke to Advani and Sushma Swaraj Saturday when they called him up. Asked if he believed Modi has become bigger than the party, Pathak said, “Nobody is bigger than the party, the party is big and the party worker is bigger than the party, as it is he who makes it.” Asked if he believed it was Modi who had denied him the ticket, he said: “It is a decision of the party parliamentary board,”
Pathak said the party had sent leaders Asit Vora and Kamlesh Patel to discuss the situation with him. “I have told them that first I will talk to thousands of party workers.”