NEW DELHI, June 8:
With skirmishes continuing with bete noire Sanjay Joshi despite forcing him out of BJP national executive, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today prevailed over party top brass to show him the door.
“Sanjay Joshi has requested BJP President Nitin Gadkari to relieve him from the party and his request has been accepted by the party president,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
Asked what prompted this sudden decision, the spokesperson was evasive and only reiterated the statement.
“It is very clear that Joshi requested that he should be relieved from the party and the party president has accepted it. This is so clear in itself and you also understand this,” he said.
However, sources close to Joshi insisted that he had only asked that he be relieved from all party work and had not relinquished his primary membership of the BJP.
Well-placed sources said Modi was miffed that even after Joshi’s resignation from the national executive, he continued to create trouble with BJP and RSS mouthpieces as well as anonymous hoardings rooting for him and hitting out at the Gujarat Chief Minister.
“Modi had put pressure on Gadkari and the top brass after realising that Joshi is actively working for BJP for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh local bodies elections. He was further annoyed by the posters and hoardings that were put up in Ahmedabad and at BJP headquarters,” a party leader said.
Joshi is now likely to be confined to RSS work and will be kept out of BJP affairs.
This is the second instance when Gadkari has bowed to Modi’s demand against Joshi. The Gujarat Chief Minister had earlier insisted that he will attend the conclave in Mumbai only if Joshi resigns from the National Executive. Gadkari, who wanted to project that the BJP leadership is united, asked Joshi to resign on May 24.
Gadkari is now not likely to face any opposition from Modi for his second term as party president.
The on-going spat between the supporters of Modi and Joshi were a cause of worry for both the BJP and the RSS as the Gujarat Assembly elections are just a few months away.
This new development comes as a shot in the arm for Modi as he did not want his detractor Joshi to have any role in the party.
The BJP and RSS have been divided on the manner in which Joshi had to resign from the National Executive as Modi put this as a condition for him to attend the Mumbai conclave.
Since then, the BJP and RSS mouthpieces have written for or against the two leaders.
While BJP mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh and RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya hit out at Modi, another RSS mouthpiece Organiser said Modi is the party’s best bet for Prime Ministership.
The matter did not end there as posters appeared in Ahmedabad and at BJP headquarters here batting for Joshi and attacking Modi. Some posters were put up today also in Ahmedabad in Joshi’s support.
The rivalry between Modi and Joshi goes back a long way. When a sleaze CD purportedly featuring Joshi surfaced in 2005, he had to resign from the post of BJP General Secretary (Organisation). It was then alleged that Modi was behind the whole CD episode. Later, Gadkari brought Joshi back into the party but Modi had his way again. (PTI)
NEW DELHI, June 8: