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BJP: Zadaphia's entry casts shadow on Shah

By IndianMandarins- 27 Dec 2018


The triple blow of Chhatisgarh, MP, and Rajasthan may seem to have mellowed the PM who is seen compromising with his yesteryears' rivals within the BJP in a bid to cut his risks associated with the maximum dependence of Party President Amit Shah.


While it may be too early to forecast that Shah, like water, may find his own level, the appointment of former Gujarat home minister Gordhan Zadaphia as the Lok Sabha election in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, a responsibility that was shouldered by Shah during the 2014 polls, may not be too comfortable for the Party President.


Zadaphia’s appointment has surprised many in the BJP as he is a protégé of former international president of VHP Pravin Togadia, a friend-turned-bete noire of PM Modi. He was also a close associate of former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel and former BJP general secretary (organisation) Sanjay Joshi, both of whom have fallen out with Modi.  But considering the way the Ram Mandir issue is being played up, Zadaphia's appointment, who was Gujarat home minister during the 2002 post-Godhra riots, may be Modi's way of patching up with Sangh hardliners and cutting his risks.


The Modi-Zadaphia equation in the past was full of uncertainties. After the 2002 Gujarat assembly polls, Zadaphia, a Patel by caste, was not given the home portfolio which he demanded. So he didn't join the Government. In 2004, he floated his own party and remained outside the BJP. He rejoined the BJP before the 2014 national election.


He is known for being the initial mentor of young and firebrand Patel leader Hardik Patel. He is also credited with the removal of Anandiben Patel as Gujarat CM after she attained the unofficial age of retirement.

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