Gandhinagar, Dec 5: As many as 24 loyalists of rebel BJP veteran leader Keshubhai Patel are contesting the election in Gujarat on BJP ticket in different assembly constituencies including the Saurashtra region, indicating that all rebels were not against Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
BJP sources said among 24 loyalists, 19 are sitting MLAs, four are former MLAs and Dilip Sanghani a former MP.
BJP sources, reacting on the recent advertisements which appeared in the local dailies given by Sardar Patel Utkarsha Samiti, formed by BJP's dissidents, said they were using the old speeches of Keshubhai Patel to get some mileage out of it.
Meanwhile, Mr Patel turned down request from the BJP central leadership to campaign for the party candidates in the polls.
However, they argued that people of the state never support dissident groups and the forthcoming election result will give a big jolt to them.
The advertisement, with a gloomy picture of Mr Patel, carried a few lines in the Samiti's name informing the voters that he had decided not to campaign for the BJP because he felt that Gujarat's interests were being compromised by the present regime.
BJP sources said the party selected only those candidates to fight the polls whose names were unanimously recommended by local party workers and leaders. However, a senior rebel leader, criticised some of the Keshubhai loyalists who switched their allegiance to the Modi camp just ahead of the Assembly polls. They include Jay Narayan Vyas, Fakirbhai Vaghela, Bharat Pandya, Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Dilip Sanghani and Yogesh Patel.
The 19 sitting BJP MLAs belonging to the rebel camp are: Bimal Shah (Kapadwanj), Bharat Pandya (Dhandhuka), Yogesh Patel (Raopura), Upendrasinh Gohil (Vadodara rural), Pradeepsinh Jadeja (Asarwa), Maya Kodnani (Naroda), Jitendra Waghela (Shaherkotada), Vasan Ahir (Bhuj), Jashuben Korat (Jetpur), Ratial Sureja (Manavadar), Pravin Mankadia (Upleta), Ranchhod Faldu (Kalavad), Chimanbhai Sapariya (Jam Jodhpur), Kanubhai Bhalada (Visavadar), Solanki brothers Purshottam and Hirabhai (Ghogha and Rajula), Kalubhai Virani (Savarkundla), Keshubhai Nakrani (Shihor) and Kanubhai Kalsariya (Mahuva).