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Jun 10, 2012 at 10:25pm IST

Rift widens in Gujarat BJP over Sanjay Joshi

New Delhi: Chief Minister Narendra Modi may have yet again staked his claim for a larger say in national politics. However, in his own backyard, trouble is brewing. At the BJP meet in Rajkot on Sunday, Modi was greeted by several people wearing masks of Sanjay Joshi, the former BJP leader who quit the party, allegedly under pressure from Modi.

Even as the party state executive met to kickstart preparations for the state Assembly polls slated for December this year, newspapers in Saurashtra carried advertisements seeking justice for Joshi.

A section of the BJP and the RSS, who were unhappy over the episode, tried to capitalise on the issue. They held a separate show of strength in Godhra, where Modi's predecessesor and former CM Keshubhai Patel addressed a rally.

For the Opposition Congress, the infighting within the BJP, with elections just months away, is an opportunity to hit out directly at the Chief Minister.

Slamming Modi as a political terrorist, Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia said that the BJP had surrendered before him.

The anger against Narendra Modi and is quickly snowballing into a rebellion of sorts. The challenge for Modi now is to ensure good Assmebly election results before he looks for greener political pastures.