New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s bete noire and BJP’s UP in-charge Sanjay Joshi on Friday requested party president Nitin Gadkari to relieve him from the party, exposing chinks in the saffron party’s armour.
"Sanjay Joshi’s request has been accepted by the party president," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.
Sources inside BJP maintained that Modi had put pressure on party president Nitin Gadkari to show Joshi the door.
However, Joshi won’t relinquish his primary membership in the BJP.
It is now being speculated that Joshi will now be re-inducted in the RSS and entrusted with new responsibilities. The former BJP general secretary (organisation) is likely to be rehabilitated by the RSS as a general secretary.
This new development came as a shot in the arm for Modi. This is the second instance when Gadkari bowed to Modi`s demand against Joshi.
The RSS reacted sharply to the development saying Joshi’s exit is in no way a victory for Modi.
Earlier, the Gujarat Chief Minister had insisted he would attend the BJP national executive meet in Mumbai, if Joshi resigned from national executive. The saffron party caved in to Modi’s demand and asked Joshi to do the same hours before the Mumbai conclave.
Acceptance of Joshi’s resignation was then seen as an effort by the party president to buy peace with Narendra Modi.
Modi had skipped last meeting of BJP held in Delhi apparently due to differences with party president Nitin Gadkari on the issue of re-induction of Sanjay Joshi. He had also not campaigned in the UP polls.
It is to be noted that rivalry between Modi and Joshi goes back a long way. When a sleaze CD purportedly featuring Joshi surfaced in 2005, he had to resign from the post of BJP general secretary (Organisation). It was then alleged that Modi was behind the whole CD episode. Later, Gadkari brought Joshi back into the party but Modi had his way again.
The on-going spat between the supporters of Modi and Joshi were a cause of worry for both the BJP and the RSS.
Both saffron party and its ideological fountain head have been divided on the issue. BJP and RSS mouthpieces have written for or against the two leaders.
While BJP mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh and RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya hit out at Modi, another RSS mouthpiece Organiser said Modi is the party`s best bet for prime ministership.
The matter did not end there as posters appeared in Ahmedabad and at BJP headquarters here batting for Joshi and attacking Modi. Some posters were put up today also in Ahmedabad in Joshi`s support.