Ahmedabad: With the first phase of polling set to begin in Saurashtra and South Gujarat on Thursday, former chief minister and BJP rebel Keshubhai Patel is one of the candidates who could make a dent in CM Narendra Modi's dominance in the state. The 84-year-old has emerged as a force to reckon with after he ended his lifelong association with the BJP and floated the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP).
Keshubhai's best hopes lie with the influential Leuva Patel community in Saurashtra and south Gujarat, and that's reflected in those backing him, like Naresh Patel, who leads the Leuva Patels in a movement to build a temple for the deity. Naresh Patel is the head of the Khodaldham Trust.
Despite his age, Keshubhai has attended seven rallies a day and his central theme is a portrayal of being a victim of Modi's politics. Can he block Moditva? Even the most optimistic amongst the Leuva Patels feel that they may not win too many seats but agree they can be the spoilers in the Modi party, especially in phase one.