New Delhi: Although his political future is at stake and he is fast losing support but beleaguered BJP party president Nitin Gadkari is a bit relaxed at the moment, with the Rashtyriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) reportedly intervening and asking the cadre to toe the line.
Reports, Wednesday, claimed that despite distancing itself from the Gadkari controversy, the Sangh Parivar came out in his support in a big way and forced the leaders of its political arm-BJP- to support him.
It was evident also as the BJP formally came out in support of its disgraced chief, accused of resorting to corrupt business practices, on Tuesday night reportedly at the behest of its mentor the RSS.
Seeking to end an internal rift over Gadkari`s continuance as BJP chief, the party core committee yesterday expressed faith in his leadership and sought to give him a virtual clean chit over allegations of financial impropriety in his business dealings, saying a probe had shown that he had done "no legal or moral wrong".
The core committee meeting, which lasted nearly two hours was attended by senior leaders including Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley and party general secretaries. Party veteran L.K. Advani and Gadkari himself were not present.
BJP leaders were huddled in meetings ahead of the Core Group meeting following demand by party MP Ram Jethmalani that Gadkari should resign immediately. Gadkari was also part of some of the meetings.
Jethmalani had written a letter to Advani earlier this month saying his demand for Gadkari`s ouster had support of party leaders Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh and Shatrughan Sinha.
The RSS’ intervention has surely saved Gadkari temporarily but his possibility of getting a second term as BJP chief is almost impossible now. The RSS, which is opposed to BJP veteran LK Advani taking charge as the interim president, wants its Nagpur man to finish his remaining term.
The RSS leadership knows that there is deep divergence of views on Gadkari’s continuance as party president. The disagreement over the issue could up again in a much stronger way at the time of the re-election of Gadkari for a second term. So, Gadkari is not likely to get second term as BJP president.
The RSS is also aware of dethroning Gadkari before the Assembly Elections in Gujarat.
The BJP sources say that the party is in the middle of the assembly election campaign in Gujarat and any signal about Gadkari`s removal at this stage would not have helped the party.
The sources also claim that the backing is not an endorsement for a second term for Gadkari and serious questions remained on the issue.
It now remains to be seen if backing by the core group would quell dissidence against Gadkari.
However, the announcement of support, in a way, may open the door for a graceful exit for Gadkari, the sources claim.
As per the party insiders, Gadkari`s resignation would also have disturbed delicately balanced internal equations in the BJP with obvious questions rising about his successor.
The sources said it would have also opened the question of prime ministerial candidate at a time when the party wanted to focus its energies on taking on the Congress.
With Agency Inputs