Gujarat BJP ‘corrects mistake’ of calling person in its Professional Cell Congress leader’s son

Gujarat unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday “corrected” a faux pas it committed earlier this week, while declaring the names of three conveners of the party’s Professional Cell, calling one of them, Gunjan, as son of former Chief Minister of Gujarat and senior Congress leader late Chhabildasbhai Mehta.

On Thursday, the party corrected the “mistake” in another statement, after it was pointed out by a grandson of the late CM that Gunjan is not son of the late CM Chhabildas Mehta, but “a far distant relative of the family”.

On July 6, Gujarat BJP issued a press release announcing names of conveners of different cells of the party. It named Gunjanbhai Chhabildasbhai Mehta as one of the three conveners of party’s Professional Cell. Following the release, general secretary of Gujarat BJP, Pradipsinh Vaghela, confirmed to The Indian Express that Gunjan is the son of former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Chhabildas Mehta.

However, following the publication of the news in The Indian Express, Chhabildas Mehta’s grandson, Amit, took objection and stated that there is no person named Gunjan who is son of Chhabildas Mehta. Amit, who is a member of BJP since 2009, wrote to Vaghela, demanding to “rectify the error if/any and inform the press accordingly and rectify the party records also”.

In his letter to Vaghela, Amit referred to the news article and said, “We would like to bring to your notice that there is no such person as Mr Gunjan Mehta in the Family Tree…of Late Shri Chhabildas Mehta.”

Amit also mentioned that late Chhabildas had two sons – Rashmikant (70) and late Kiritbhai – and three daughters – Lataben (69), Kirtiben Parekh (64) and Nitaben Modi (60).

According to Amit, he had unsuccessfully contested the 2007 Gujarat assembly elections as a candidate of Nationalist Congress Party from Mahuva constituency. Later, in 2009, he joined the BJP in the presence of party leaders Parshottam Rupala and Vijay Rupani at Rajkot.

About Gunjan, Amit added, “There is one Gunjan Mehta, who is a distant relative of the family, who can be named as Gunjan Rameshbhai Mehta, s/o Rameshbhai Jayantibhai Mehta, s/o Late Pragjibhai Mehta. Late Pragj(i)bhai Mehta’s son(s) were Shri Jayantibhai and Late Shri Chhabildas Mehta. So, he is nowhere connected in the direct family tree of Late Shri Chhabildas Mehta.”

When contacted, Pradipsinh Vaghela said that he has got the letter from Amit Mehta. “They (Amit and Gunjan) are cousins from the same family. It was my inadvertent mistake (to call Gunjan as son of Chhabildas Mehta). The mistake will be corrected and a press release will be issued in that regard,” he said.

Eventually, the media cell of the party issued a press release Thursday evening stating that the name of one of its conveners of Professional Cell should be read as “Gunjanbhai Rameshbhai Mehta”. It also stated that earlier it was declared as “Gunjanbhai Chhabildasbhai Mehta by mistake”.

On his part, Gunjan said, “It was an inadvertent mistake that instead of my father’s name (Rameshbhai), the other name (Chhabildasbhai) got published in the party release. I was not in the know of it before the press release was issued. There was no intention of hurting anyone’s sentiment. I am happy that the mistake has been corrected.”

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