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Gadkari plays safe in Advani Vs Modi tussle

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 14:44

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Amidst growing internal rift within the party over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s rising stature, former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari has reportedly rejected a proposal to head a committee that would oversee the party`s campaign and strategy for upcoming assembly elections.

Reports, Tuesday, claimed that Gadkari was approached by BJP veteran LK Advani who wanted him to chair a committee that would be responsible for finalizing the party’s strategy for campaigning for upcoming elections, billed as the semi-final for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

As per reports, Gadkari rejected the proposal as he does not want to be part of any group that supports or opposes Modi’s bid to become the BJP’s official prime ministerial candidate.

The internal rift between the senior-most leaders of the BJP has come out in the open, embarrassing the party and spawning concern that it could turn voters away.

Probably this could be the reason why BJP’s ideological fountainhead and the parent body, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wants Modi to be appointed the head of the election committee, which would signal the Gujarat leader’s VVIP status.
The matter is likely to be discussed at a meeting of senior BJP leaders that begins in Goa on Saturday.

BJP veteran Advani was one of those senior leaders who fiercely campaigned for Gadkari’s removal last year when his vast business empire was accused of financial impropriety.

So Advani’s apparent softening of stance on Gadkari is being viewed within the BJP as an expression of his determined opposition to Modi.

This was evident last week when Advani appeared to put down Narendra Modi by suggesting that his counterpart in Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has performed better.

However, BJP chief Rajnath Singh yesterday sought to control the damage by saying Advani`s remarks had been misinterpreted. He also reiterated that Modi is "the most popular leader" within the BJP.

First Published: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 14:38

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