AHMEDABAD: Given the sequence of events, it would appear the flight of pro-Eknath Shinde MLAs in Maharashtra to Gujarat was per a BJP script written in Delhi to be enacted in the party’s stronghold Surat and then in Guwahati.
Gujarat party chief CR Patil is from Surat, and so is the state’s Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi. Assam BJP CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has emerged as the significant link in the episode. “In the course of events in Maharashtra, Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil or any other leader had no role to play. Patil had the responsibility to look after the outbound Shiv Sena MLAs in Gujarat. However, he could not do the job assigned by Delhi, so the entire responsibility fell on Assam CM Sarma,” said a leader who requested not to be named.
“Had CR (Patil) managed the whole operation satisfactorily, why would the Shiv Sena MLAs be moved from Surat to Guwahati? Patil was a manager who received instructions from Delhi,” said the leader quoted above. Surat’s selection was obvious. However, “number-two BJP leader in Delhi did not like the Sena leaders meeting the rebel MLAs in Surat,” said the leader. “Secondly, this BJP leader did not want his second attempt to topple the Maharashtra government to fail. So overnight, he excluded CR Patil and handed the responsibility to Modi’s confidant Sarma,” said the leader.
Another senior leader, on condition of anonymity, said the whole episode was being programmed from Delhi. He said the planning for the current drama took place when a top leader in Delhi came to Gujarat some time ago to meet a “big Marathi leader” at the former’s home. “A long closed-door meeting followed,” this leader said. “No one knew about the Maharashtra leader’s visit”.
The senior Gujarat BJP leader briefed the top Delhi leaders about his meeting. “They worked out an action plan. The big Marathi leader met a top BJP leader in Delhi and everything was settled between the two,” said the senior leader quoted above.
“No doubt, BJP has a lot of faith in Sarma, that’s why the case of Jignesh Mevani from Gujarat was lodged from Assam. The defamation case against the Delhi AAP was lodged from Assam. All this indicates that the real game is being played in Delhi,” said political analyst Dilip Patel.