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Keshubhai Patel

Keshubhai Patel

Keshubhai Patel (born 24 July 1928) is an Indian politician who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat state of India in 1995 and from 1998 to 2001. He has been member of Gujarat Legislative Assembly six times. He was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the 1980s. He subsequently left the BJP in 2012 and formed the Gujarat Parivartan Party. He was elected from Visavadar in the 2012 assembly election but later resigned in 2014 due to ill health.

Keshubhai Savdas Patel is born on 24 July 1928 in Visavadar town of present Junagadh district, Gujarat. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1945 as a pracharak. He was imprisoned during the emergency.

Personal Life :

He married to Leela Patel and has five sons and a daughter. His son, Bharat Patel is a member of BJP. His wife died in their home in Gandhinagar after an electrical fire broke out in the exercise room on 21 September 2006.

Political Carrier :

He started his political career as a worker for the Jan Sangh in 1960s. He was a founding member of it. In 1975, the Jan Sangh-Congress(O) coalition came to power in Gujarat.

After the emergency, he was elected to Lok Sabha from Rajkot constituency in 1977. Later he resigned and joined Babubhai Patel's Janata Morcha government as an agriculture minister in 1978 to 1980. He was then involved in relief work following 1979 Machchhu dam failure which devastated Morbi.

He won assembly elections from Kalavad, Gondal and Visavadar between 1978 and 1995.In 1980, when Jan Sangh was dissolved and he became senior organizer of newly formed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He organized the election campaign against Congress (I) and led BJP to win in 1995 assembly election.

He became the Chief Minister of Gujarat on 14 March 1995 but resigned seven months later as his colleague Shankersinh Vaghela revolted against him and Suresh Mehta succeeded him as a consensus Chief Minister. BJP was split as Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP) was formed by Vaghela who became the Chief Minister, in October 1996, with support of the Congress (I). Assembly was dissolved in 1998 as Congress (I) withdrew its support to RJP. BJP returned to power led by Patel in 1998 assembly elections and he became the chief minister again on 4 March 1998.

Patel resigned as the Chief Minister on 2 October 2001 due to his failing health. Allegations of abuse of power, corruption and poor administration; as well as a loss of BJP seats in by-elections and mismanagement of relief works during 2001 Bhuj earthquake aftermath; prompted the BJP's national leadership to seek a new candidate for the office of chief minister. He was succeeded by Narendra Modi.[5][6][7] Patel did not contested 2002 assembly election. He was elected to Rajya Sabha unopposed in 2002.

In the 2007 assembly elections, he urged his community to vote for change. He "blessed" the Indian National Congress (formerly Congress (I)) and did not even cast his vote. BJP again won in election with clear majority and formed government led by Modi.

He did not renew his BJP membership,[9] resigned from the BJP on 4 August 2012 and launched the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) to contest in Gujarat legislative assembly election, 2012. He won from Visavadar constituency against BJP candidate Kanubhai Bhalala while GPP won just two seats including his own.

He resigned from the post of president of GPP in January 2014 and later resigned as member of Gujarat Legislative Assembly due to his ill health on February 13, 2014. Later GPP merged with BJP on 24 February 2014.