Dissident BJP leader and former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel will meet senior party leaders in Delhi today to raise a pitch of his campaign against state chief minister Narendra Modi, sources have said.
The decision to visit Delhi came after a meeting of the anti-Modi group of the BJP at Mr Patel's residence in Gandhinagar last evening. Mr Patel and other BJP leaders, including those, who left the party, have started a campaign against Mr Modi in the elections year.
"Keshubhai will be meeting senior party leaders like party president Nitin Gadkari, L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj and also Sanjay Joshi," sources close to Mr Patel said.
"Keshubhai is going to Delhi to inform the central leadership about the situation prevailing in the party here," former chief minister Suresh Mehta, who was also present at the meeting that was held at Mr Patel's residence, said.
"This meeting is a very crucial phase of our decision-making process. Our future course of action will depend upon the outcome of the meeting that we will have with party's central leadership," Mr Mehta further said.
Though the anti-Modi camp is not hopeful of getting any major reprieve from the BJP's central leadership, they want to go step by step, sources said.
"We cannot jump the gun and take the decision. That is the reason we are going to meet the leadership to first apprise them of the real situation in the state," Mr Mehta said.
Mr Patel, who was unceremoniously removed from the chief minister's post in 2001 and was replaced by Mr Modi, has decided this time to fight against the chief minister, by banking on the numerically-strong Patel community.
In the last few months, Mr Patel has openly criticised Mr Modi at various public meetings. He had alleged that the people of Gujarat, especially the members of his Patel community, were living in fear under Mr Modi's rule.
Those present at the meeting yesterday include Gordhan Zadafia, former Minister of State for Home in the Modi Government, who left the BJP in 2007 to form his own party the 'Maha-Gujarat Janta Party'. Leaders like Nalin Bhatt and Kanshiram Rana were also present.
Mr Zadafia, who will go to Delhi today, will hold a press conference at the Press Club of India "to highlight facts about the state", sources close to him said.