Gujarat elections 2017: A day before filing nomination, Vijay Rupani seeks Keshubhai Patel's blessings

The Patel leader sought to make a political comeback and floated the Gujarat Parivartan Party in 2012

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CM Vijay Rupani (right) with Keshubhai Patel

Just a day before filing his nomination for the upcoming Assembly elections, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani called upon former CM Keshubhai Patel and sought his blessings on Sunday. Both Keshubhai and Rupani are from Rajkot.

Rupani, who is slated to file his nomination from Rajkot West constituency on Monday, went to the veteran leader's residence. 

Keshubhai was one of the strongest forces behind BJP's rise in Gujarat in the mid 80s and 90s. In fact, the influential Patel leader was the BJP's first Chief Minister in the state after he led the party to a win in the 1995 elections.

"Keshubhai is our elder and I had come to seek his blessings. He has given me his blessings for our target to win 150 seats in the coming elections," Rupani told media persons after meeting the former CM. Rupani said that they also informally discussed the current political situation in Saurashtra and the state.

Rupani left for Rajkot after the meeting. He and three other BJP candidates from Rajkot are slated to file their nomination papers on Monday in the presence of party's election in-charge Arun Jaitley.

Keshubhai was one of the stalwarts of the Gujarat BJP, but he was gradually forgotten as Narendra Modi strengthened his hold over the party after replacing the latter as CM in October 2001.

The Patel leader sought to make a political comeback and floated the Gujarat Parivartan Party in 2012. He was elected from Visavadar seat, but the outfit could win only three seats in all. Keshubhai resigned as an MLA after merging the party with the BJP in 2014.

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