In its first move to bring the anti-Narendra Modi factions in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat under one umbrella, the Mahagujarat Janata Party (MJP), formed five years ago, was on Wednesday merged with the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) formed by the former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel.

Mr. Gordhan Jhadafiya, who was Home Minister in the Modi Cabinet during the 2002 communal riots, announced the merger of his party with the GPP in the presence of Mr. Patel and other leaders of both parties. Mr. Jhadafiya formed the MJP just before the 2007 Assembly elections after he quit the BJP following differences with Mr. Modi.

Claiming that the MJP had already enrolled more than 2.5 lakh as primary members, Mr. Jhadafiya said his cadre would form the backbone of the new party to give a strong fight to Mr. Modi and the BJP in the coming Assembly elections.

Mr. Patel announced a “mini election manifesto” of his party, assuring the people of relief from price rise and inflation. Mr. Patel promised a flat 30 per cent relief in the prices of petrol, diesel and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Rs. 100 subsidy per cylinder of cooking gas.

Ramdev’s stir

Meanwhile, yoga guru Baba Ramdev left Ahmedabad for Delhi on Wednesday, all set to launch his agitation against black money and corruption at the Ramlila Maidan on Thursday.

On social activist Anna Hazare joining his agitation, he said: “Anna had publicly promised to join me on August 9. We have sent him the invitation. It is up to him now,” the Baba said.

The yoga guru re-asserted that his agitation would remain apolitical and would not be suspended till the promised goals were achieved.