Dispelling all rumours of Gujarat Parivartan Partys founder and former BJP leader Keshubhai Patels return to his parent party,the old warhorse from Saurashtra on Monday made it clear that there is no question of going back and that he is fine where he is. Earlier in the day,Keshubhai skipped the New Year get-together of his party at Ahmedabad,adding fuel to rumour mills about his possible return to the BJP fold,after leading a fierce campaign against BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the December 2012 Gujarat Assembly elections. Later in the day,however,Patel decided to break his silence and play down his absence at the New Year meet,by saying that his poor health prevented him from attending it. He also ruled out his much-rumoured return to the parent party.
I have pain in both my legs. For heath reasons,I could not attend the party get-together, Patel told The Indian Express. Speaking out for the first time since speculations of him returning to the BJP began,following his meeting with Modi on his birthday,Patel,who was unceremoniously ousted in 2001 to pave the way for Modi,said,I am good where I am.Despite an intense anti-Modi campaign,supported by a section of politically influential Leuva Patel community,the GPP in its maiden elections of December 2012 could win only 2 seats,both in Saurashtra. The other MLA from GPP,besides Patel,Nalin Kotadia,earlier told this paper that it was just a matter of time before Keshubhai and the entire GPP merged with the BJP. Kotadias remarks had come a month after Modi paid a visit to Patel on the formers birthday,followed by Patel skipping the Rohit community meet organised by the GPP,even though he met Modi that same day for the Somnath Trust Meet.However,Patel on Monday chose to refute Kotadia,when he said, Kotadia may say anything, and went on to maintain that there has been no efforts on part of Modi or the BJP to approach him. Nobody has approached me. I am talking to nobody. There is no question of (me) going back, Patel said. Ironically for party workers,Nalin Kotadia,the only other GPP MLA in Gujarat besdies Patel,also gave the get-together a miss.