AAP may replace its Guj state convener Patel in revamp

 Aam Aadmi Party is mulling revamping its Gujarat unit after inferring that its stellar performance in Delhi Assembly polls alone cannot strengthen the party in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state and may remove its state convener Sukhdev Patel.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 15, 2015, 23:18 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Aam Aadmi Party is mulling revamping its Gujarat unit after inferring that its stellar performance in Delhi Assembly polls alone cannot strengthen the party in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state and may remove its state convener Sukhdev Patel.

According to a senior party leader, Patel (57) who had joined AAP since its inception in Gujarat in November 2013, is likely to be axed from the post and his responsibilities may be restricted to urban Ahmedabad.

The next head of the party's state unit will be announced soon by AAP's national executive committee.

Confirming the party will soon change its team in Gujarat, AAP spokesperson Harshil Nayak explained the call will be taken by national executive committee and the state unit has no information in this regard.

According to party sources, names of ex-BJP MLA Kanu Kalsaria and of Surat-based Gandhi ideologue Kishor Desai were being considered for the post by the central leadership.

Kalsaria, who had spearheaded the agitation against Nirma's cement plant in his Assembly constituency of Mahuva, is one of the top contenders for the post due to his pro-farmer image.

The party leadership feels that Kalsaria has the ability to lead AAP in the home state of PM Narendra Modi.

Kalsaria can surely attract an influx of dedicated workers and he also enjoys the support of farming community in rural Gujarat, according to the leader.

If Kalsaria replaces Patel, he may make a dent in the traditional vote bank of Congress and AAP may score over the former like it did in Delhi elections, the leader said.

Desai, who heads the party in South Gujarat and has worked with Anna Hazare during 'Jan Lokpal' movement, is another contender for the post of state convener given his dedication to AAP since its inception, said the leader.

When asked whether AAP is contesting upcoming local bodies elections in the state, the leader said the party is not in a hurry to enter the electoral fray but is rather focusing on expanding its base in Gujarat.