New Delhi: BJP leader Sushma Swaraj who created a furore by saying that the Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s magic need not work everywhere on Thursday denied having spoken against the latter and said that certain vested interests were trying to create a rift in the BJP.
Her comments came after Modi reportedly raised the matter with party president Nitin Gadkari. Gadkari is said to have met with senior leader LK Advani over the issue in Delhi.
“There are no differences between Narendra bhai and me. The good thing about him is that he doesn’t pay attention to media reports,” she told a bevy of reporters.
She alleged that because the BJP was strongly raising the issue of corruption in the Delhi Commonwealth Games, some elements were trying to divert attention and split the party.
"Somebody is doing mischief...The story has been planted in media," she said, adding "I can`t say" on being asked if these elemnts were from the BJP itself.
“I have been misquoted (on Modi). Words have been put in
my mouth. Narendra bhai and I had a good chat the other day about the fantastic Gujarat municipal election results and there was no such issue talked about,” Swaraj insisted.
Gadkari reportedly talked to Swaraj over the issue and
urged restraint. He later went to Advani`s house to discuss
the issue after which Swaraj talked to reporters in Patna,
claiming that neither Modi nor Gadkari were upset with her.
"I talked to Nitin Gadkari yesterday and the day
before. He did not even broach the subject. He had called to
ask me to attend our Foreign Cell meeting ahead of US
President Barack Obama`s visit. I have not had any
conversation with him on this issue. He did not say a word (on
it)," Swaraj told PTI.
The Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, when asked whether Modi would camping in Bihar had said earlier this week, “Modi`s magic and charisma have worked in Gujarat ... but it is not necessary that everybody`s magic works at every place.”
Many in the top rung of the party are said to be unhappy with this "uncalled for" statement from Swaraj.
"Nobody would agree with Swaraj on this issue, especially at a time when he has led the party to a sweeping victory in the local body elections in Gujarat," a senior leader said yesterday.
The development is also indicative of a leadership race which has accelerated in the recent times after Advani’s exit from scene. Both Swaraj and Modi are seen as potential rivals to lead the party in the run up to the next Lok Sabha polls.
Ever since the elections in Bihar were announced, party’s allay JD(U) – with an eye on the minority vote - had made it clear that it wanted to keep Narendra Modi out of Bihar.