BJP leader Sanjay Joshi, who surprised political observers with his sudden exit from the party, today found unlikely support in the home ground of his fiercest opponent, Narendra Modi.
Posters in support of Joshi have been put up in Ahmedabad and New Delhi, quoting a poem written by BJP leader AB Vajpayee and bearing the BJP symbol, CNN-IBN reported.
Posters were also put up outside the BJP headquarters and BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi’s residence in New Delhi but were quickly pulled down, IANS reported.
Joshi has denied having anything to do with the posters.
Although the posters did not refer to Modi directly, they blamed Joshi’s exit on the stubborness of ‘one leader’ — referring to Modi and accused him of bullying the party.
However, unlike characteristic political posters, these ones did not say which political leaders had them printed and put up.
Joshi, who was seen as a link between the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had resigned before the BJP’s national executive meet held last month, following which Modi had attended it.
Earlier, a set of former BJP leaders had met with former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel in Ahmedabad where they had accused the party of bending to Modi’s requests.
Modi and Joshi started their political careers as comrades to put Gujarat BJP unit on a high pedestal but now they don’t see eye to eye.
Joshi came to Ahmedabad in 1988-89 from Maharashtra RSS to join the BJP here.
In 1990, Modi was the general secretary of state unit of BJP while Joshi was secretary and both worked together for about five years along with other leaders, which was the crucial phase of state BJP when the party came to power for
the first time in the state with Keshubhai Patel as chief minister in 1995.
However, in 1995 itself after a revolt by then party leader Shankarsinh Vaghela, Modi was shunted out of the state
and Joshi became the powerful general secretary (organisation) of BJP state unit.
BJP was able to come back to power in Gujarat after a revolt by Shankarsinh Vaghela in 1998. The enmity between the two began in 1998, when Modi wanted to return to the state but Joshi had opposed the move and did not allow him to return, sources said.
Keshubhai Patel once again became the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 1998. The rivalry of Joshi-Modi grew from that year
and it became more intense when Patel was unceremoniously removed as Chief Minister and replaced by Modi in 2001.
But, the party then transferred Joshi to Delhi and gave him a powerful post of Party General Secretary (organisation).
In the next few years, the clout of Joshi began to grow at the national level due to his position in the party. However, in 2005, Joshi was forced to resign following a controversy over a CD purportedly showing him in poor light.
The CD surfaced during the silver jubilee celebrations of the party in Mumbai.
with inputs from PTI