In fielding Saurashtra strongman Vitthal Radadias son Jayesh from Jetpur Assembly constituency for the June 2 bypolls,Chief Minister Narendra Modi has preferred political pragmatism over loyalty,say BJP leaders.
Jayesh has been chosen over Jasumatiben Korat,a former minister in the Modi government who had held the Jetpur seat since her husband Savji Korats demise in 1998 before losing it to the junior Radadia in 2012 Assembly polls held post-delimitation. Earlier,Savji Korat,who was roads and building minister in the Keshubhai Patel government,had held the seat from 1990 to 1998.
The couple had been steadfastly loyal to the BJP all along,unlike Vitthal Radadia who played a key role in engineering the revolt by Shankersinh Vaghela in 1996 that toppled the Keshubhai Patel government before joining Congress years later. When Keshubhai Patel formed Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) last year,Savji Korat chose to remain with the BJP despite the fact that her late husband was very close to the former CM. Radadia,on the other hand,returned to the BJP fold only after a 14-year stint in Congress. The Korats have remained loyal to the party. If Savjibhai did not side with Vaghela,Jasumatiben did not go with Keshubhai Patel last year, says a senior BJP leader from Saurashtra.
Modi had to choose between the Radadias and the Korats. Given the circumstances,including Vitthal Radadias clout in the co-operative sector and looming Lok Sabha elections,the CM has made a choice, says a BJP leader.
Incidentally,Both Radadia and Korat started around 1990 in Rajkot district. Both were dynamic and rose very fast. Radadia,however,changed his loyalty with circumstances, says a BJP leader who has known both.
When contacted,Jasumatiben,who was women and child welfare minister in the Modi government,said,It is the partys decision and I respect it. Asked how she would campaign differently this time,she added,We are yet to begin. Only time will tell how voters react when I go for campaigning.