IFFCO Chairman’s Felicitation Function Exposes Internal Friction Within Gujarat BJP

The felicitation function held in honor of Dilip Sanghani's dual milestones – his election as chairman of IFFCO and his 70th birthday – became a stage for political theatrics in Gujarat


AMRELI, GUJARAT : Dilip Sanghani, a prominent cooperative sector leader in Saurashtra and the newly-elected chairman of IFFCO, threw down the gauntlet at Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil with a bold display of strength. Organizing a grand felicitation function in his hometown of Amreli, Sanghani’s move underlined simmering tensions within the party’s ranks, as key figures rallied behind him while others conspicuously stayed away.

The felicitation function held in honor of Dilip Sanghani’s dual milestones – his election as chairman of IFFCO and his 70th birthday – became a stage for political theatrics, revealing the deep-seated discord within the Gujarat BJP. Despite Sanghani’s stature as a heavyweight leader in Saurashtra, his open challenge to the party’s hierarchy, particularly CR Paatil, hinted at internal divisions that have been festering beneath the surface.

The conspicuous absence of state government officials and members of the state BJP organization spoke volumes about the internal strife within the party. Notably, five BJP MLAs from Amreli district opted to steer clear of the function, purportedly in protest against Sanghani’s recent criticisms of State party Chief CR Paatil and his decisions.

However, the event saw the attendance of several BJP leaders who have either been sidelined or embroiled in controversy in recent years. Union minister Parshottam Rupala, former Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, and Amreli Lok Sabha MP Naran Kachhadiya lent their support to Sanghani, signaling a rift within the party’s ranks. Their presence at the felicitation function served as a testament to the underlying tensions brewing within the Gujarat BJP.

Sanghani’s decision to back Jayesh Radadiya for the position of Director of IFFCO, contrary to the mandate issued by Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil, further exacerbated the rift within the party. Sanghani’s criticism of the state BJP leadership, particularly regarding the induction of Congress leaders into the party fold and the imposition of mandates, echoed loudly in political circles.

The discord within the Gujarat BJP has led to a realignment of alliances, with some sidelined leaders finding common cause with Sanghani’s dissenting stance. Saurabh Patel, a former minister who was denied a ticket in the 2022 assembly polls, publicly congratulated Sanghani on his IFFCO chairmanship victory, signaling a potential shift in allegiances within the party.

As Sanghani’s defiance against the state BJP leadership gains momentum, it remains to be seen how the party hierarchy will respond to the growing dissent within its ranks. The felicitation function in Amreli served as a microcosm of the larger power struggle unfolding within the Gujarat BJP, with implications that extend far beyond the boundaries of the state.