In the past one year, differences between youth leaders Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor have come out in the open after the latter resigned from the Congress on a bitter note, and unsuccessfully contested assembly by-elections from Radhanpur seat on a BJP ticket. On Monday, Hardik targeted Alpesh in a social media post and held him responsible for the Congress’s defeat in the 2017 assembly elections, alleging that Alpesh was a mole in the Congress party sent by BJP President Amit Shah. Hardik alleged that the BJP had predicted that even if Congress had won the elections, it would have won 6-7 seats more than the majority figure. Hardik said in his post that Alpesh was asked by Shah to demand 10 seats to contest the election from the Congress leadership, and in the event of Congress winning the election by a thin majority, Alpesh was instructed by Shah to switch over to the BJP along with his supporters. According to Hardik, Alpesh did not campaign for any other candidate in the 2017 elections and BJP had also fielded a weak candidate against him.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday hosted a lunch meet for journalists at the community centre in the Ministers’ Enclave in Gandhinagar, to celebrate the Gujarati New Year. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and almost all the ministers of the cabinet were present at Rupani’s lunch, which was also attended by senior bureaucrats and senior leaders of the ruling BJP. At the function, Chief Secretary J N Singh made a presentation depicting the growth of Gujarat in the past 20 years, on key indicators such as GSDP, fiscal deficit, employment, school drop-out ratio, tourism, industry, urban development, health, sustainable development, water, coastal development, renewable energy, agriculture, and so on. The presentation was an addition to the customary lunch meet. Sources said that the custom was started by the Narendra Modi in 2003 when he was chief minister of the state.
New Party Chief?
As the Gujarat BJP is bracing for a rejig of its organisational structure by December end, as per party tradition, speculation is rife regarding the new party chief in the wake of the underwhelming results in the recently concluded bypolls of six assembly seats. However, nobody is certain if the party will get a new chief in Gujarat. A party source said, “It is not necessary that the party will get a new chief. Only time will tell. Media can report anything. But one must keep in mind that the present party dispensation (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national BJP president & Union Home Minister Amit Shah) is fond of proving the media wrong.” Local media and news portals have been writing about how not only the heads in the party organisation, but also the government might change.