Ahmedabad: District-level leaders from various parts of the state on Friday urged former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel to take a lead in campaign against the incumbent chief minister Narendra Modi ahead of the state elections.
Leaders, businessmen and important people from different districts kept pouring in at Keshubhai`s residence in Gandhinagar today, sources close to him said.
"A meeting was held at the residence of Patel, in which, these leaders urged Keshubhai to give his leadership to a campaign against Modi," sources further said adding that some of those present were also from BJP.
The leaders had come from Amreli, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Junagadh districts of Saurashtra and also from Surat, Bharuch and Nadiad district of South Gujarat, sources said.
Sources said that mainly those belonging to Patel community attended the meeting, along with some members of other community, who are not happy with the present government of Modi.
Maha Gujarat Janata Party president Gordhan Zadafia, who, in 2007 had quit BJP and formed his own party against Modi, also attended the meeting.
"Leaders from all sections of the society have been coming to Keshubhai after he raised his voice against the present Government," Zadafia told PTI.
They come to Keshubhai to air their grievances and express support, he further added.
Keshubhai Patel, a known detractor of chief minister
Narendra Modi, had been in a political wilderness for four years and has become active in the election year. He is of late attending different public gatherings and is openly criticising Modi.
Recently, in a veiled attack on Modi, Keshubhai had recently said in Ahmedabad that people of the state were living in fear under the present rule.
The former Gujarat chief minister, who has been invited to the National Executive Council meeting of the BJP to be held on May 24 and 25, has also decided not to attend it.
He was unceremoniously removed from the chief minister`s post in 2001 and was replaced by Modi.
Patel represents a powerful community, which constitutes around 18 per cent of the state population and is known as the "backbone" of BJP`s support base in Gujarat.