Nagpur: While reports claim BJP president Nitin Gadkari has been put on notice by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) following corruption allegations against him, the RSS chief has said the Gadkari issue is Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) internal matter.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was first seen sharing the dais with Gadkari at a Dussehra function here on Wednesday. Later, while speaking to reporters Bhagwat said the RSS would not comment on the issue as Gadkari was BJP’s internal matter.
The remarks came even as sources said that the Sangh has asked Gadkari to come clean on allegations of corruption against him by the month-end.
The Hindu quoted reliable sources on Wednesday as saying that the RSS has demanded an explanation from Gadkari in view of the allegations levelled against him by India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal and a section of the media.
Gadkari’s personal secretary Sudhir Dewgaonkar however said no such ultimatum has been issued to the BJP president by the RSS.
On Tuesday, party colleague Ram Jethmalani had demanded that Gadkari should step down as the BJP president following fresh allegations of alleged wrongdoing being hurled at the BJP leader on Tuesday.
BJP sources also said that the growing charges against their president can no more be taken lightly even if they were when IAC unleashed the first salvo.
A BJP insider had earlier said that the party and the RSS were likely to adopt a "wait and watch" approach till a probe takes place.
Another leader said it was premature to say if Gadkari would get a second term as party president as announced earlier.
"A lot of things can happen," the source said. But he quickly added that the BJP would not be swayed by media reports but go only by facts.
Media reports yesterday said an infrastructure company, Ideal Road Builders (IRB), had made major investments in and given a large loan to a company controlled by Gadkari.
IRB had won contracts between 1995 and 1999 when Gadkari was the PWD minister in Maharashtra.
The reports said the addresses of some of the companies that had invested in Gadkari`s company appeared to be dubious.
Gadkari became the BJP president in December 2009 for three years. The party had amended its constitution last month to give a second consecutive term to an incumbent.
The allegations against Gadkari have come ahead of Assembly Elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
(With IANS inputs)