New Delhi: In an apparent fire fighting manoeuvre, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday emphatically rejected senior RSS leader MG Vaidya’s claim that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is behind the campaign against party chief Nitin Gadkari.
“The writer (Vaidya) has tried to link a recent comment of an MP with Chief Minister of Gujarat, the BJP rejects such insinuations as it is totally unfounded,” party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“The entire BJP, all central leaders and the CMs are working united for a national cause, we are working in unions and we are totally behind Mr Narendra Modi and are confident that the party will win Gujarat elections,” he said.
Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue MG Vaidya triggered debate on the faultlines in the ranks of the BJP and the RSS.
As Vaidya backed the comment made in his blog on Sunday, the RSS quickly clarified that his was not the official view of the organisation. And, the BJP said Vaidya`s views were wrong.
Gadkari has been under attack for alleged financial impropriety in connection with his Purti Group. Mahesh Jethmalani, also BJP MP Ram Jethmalani`s son, quit the party national executive last week protesting Gadkari`s continuation in office in the wake of allegations against him.
"The roots of the campaign against Nitin Gadkari have to be in Gujarat because when Ram Jethmalani demanded Gadkari`s resignation, he also demanded that Narendra Modi be made the prime ministerial candidate of the party," Vaidya was quoted as saying in an English translation of his Marathi blog.
Explaining his blog entry, Vaidya told a news channel on Monday: "And because Jethmalani has combined the two things in one statement, demanding Nitin Gadkari`s resignation and making Narendra Modi as PM, I said that the needle of suspicion goes to Gujarat. I only said needle of suspicion goes towards Modi and that there is a suspicion. If Jethmalani is entitled to his own point of view I also am entitled to my own point of view."
He said the RSS "has nothing to do with it".
Vaidya`s son and RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya clarified on the news channel that these were his father`s personal views. "These are not the Sangh`s official opinion... If the Sangh has to give an opinion, it will do so."
BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu was also quick to denounce Vaidya. Addressing a press conference in Chennai, he said the remarks were Vaidya`s personal opinion.
"That is his idea, I don`t know where he got the information (about Modi being involved). It is wrong...," he said.