Mumbai: In a show of strength vis-a-visa party President, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday forced the resignation of his detractor Sanjay Joshi from BJP national executive, as an apparent price for his participation in the meeting.
The Modi issue dominated the first day`s session of the two-day national executive ahead of which Joshi resigned paving the way for the Gujarat Chief Minister`s attendance.
Joshi, who was a special invitee to the national executive, has in a letter to Gadkari said he is relinquishing his post in "larger interest" of the party.
Modi and Joshi have been at loggerheads and the recent decision by Gadkari to induct Joshi into the executive was not taken kindly by the CM. Modi had threatened to boycott the meeting if Joshi was present.
Gadkari, who worked behind the scenes to get Joshi`s resignation, later announced the end of a "small controversy" and declared he and the Gujarat strongman will work together to strengthen the party, setting the stage for deliberations at the national executive.
Gadkari said that with the end of this row, he and Modi will work "shoulder to shoulder".
The BJP chief also praised Joshi for showing "large heart" in resigning from the executive in the interest of the organisation to "end" any controversy.
Modi had stayed away from the last meeting of the national executive held in Delhi in September last year. apparently peeved at the induction of Joshi into Uttar Pradesh election campaign by Gadkari. He also did not campaign in the UP assembly polls.
After a gap of six years, Joshi, who has been a former party general secretary, was asked by Gadkari to assist the party in the UP assembly polls.
In 2005, he was forced to resign following a controversy over a CD purportedly showing him in poor light. This decision had not gone down well with Modi who has never seen Joshi eye-to-eye.
Modi had all these years stiffly resisted moves to bring back Joshi, who was a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ‘pracharak’ nominee in the party in the position of general secretary (organisation).
The entire episode has once again highlighted the importance of Narendra Modi in the BJP at a time when the party considers itself on track to regain power in 2014.
With PTI inputs