New Delhi, Oct. 30 -- The passing of former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel at the age of 92 marks the end of an epoch for the Bharatiya Janata Party and its previous avatar, the Jana Sangh, in the state. The party now has no surviving leader from the generation that braved early decades of political isolation and hostility.

Paradoxically, despite having raised the Sangh parivar's political arm from scratch, he played no role in the most decisive decade in the party's ascendance.

From October 2001, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi became chief minister replacing him, Patel lost all political relevance in a political culture different from the one he incubated.

He eventually formed his own outfit, the Gujarat Parivartan Party in 2...