'PM aspirant' Modi behind campaign against Gadkari, says RSS leader

Has the campaign to dethrone Nitin Gadkari from the BJP President's post originated in Gujarat and headed by none other than Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi? An ideologue and former spokesperson for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, MG Vaidya, has said that the 'needle of suspicion' for the campaign points towards Gujarat and therefore Modi.

"Because the demand for the resignation of Gadkari and making Modi the Prime Minister were made by one person in a statement, it is natural for anyone to believe that the campaign is being run out of Gujarat, and if one says it is Gujarat then the needle of suspicion automatically points at Narendra Modi," Vaidya wrote in his blog in Marathi.

The former RSS spokesperson said his conclusions were based on Ram Jethmalani's comments last week seeking the dismissal of party president Nitin Gadkari and making Narendra Modi, a prime ministerial candidate.

Modi the only PM aspirant in the BJP? AFP

Vaidya, a former editor of Marathi newspaper Tarun Bharat, said there was nothing wrong with Modi wanting to be Prime Minister given that the objective of anyone in politics was to get to the highest possible post.

"As per news in yesterday's newspaper it is clear that Lal Krishna Advani kept himself out of the Prime Ministerial race. Nitin Gadkari has said earlier that he is not in the race at all. In this  context only news releated to Narendra Modi continues to feature extensively in the media," he wrote.

"Modi hasn't been seen in the media denying these reports. If anyone concludes from this that Modi has a desire to become the prime minister, then that person cannot be faulted," Vaidya wrote.

The blog post comes at a time when ties between the RSS and Modi are reportedly tenuous. The Gujarat Chief Minister who is going all out for the upcoming state elections has been facing strained ties with the RSS, but as Firstpost had said there will be no effect in the state polls. The RSS has stood by Gadkari despite allegations of murky dealings in his Purti group.

The former RSS spokesperson in his blog said that he was in support of the manner in which Mahesh Jethmalani had quit the national executive committee, and said his father Ram Jethmalani may also choose to give up Rajya Sabha post due to differences with the party.
However, Jethmalani had claimed that Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh and Shatrughan Sinha also endorsed his view on the BJP president and if this was the case, the three BJP leaders should also quit from their posts, Vaidya wrote.
"If there is a tainted person at the highest post in the party then how can an intelligent man remain happy in his post under him?" Vaidya said.
He also criticised Jethmalani for his statements and said it was best to ignore the Rajya Sabha MP, who he said had contributed little to the growth of the party apart from expressing his opinions that were not in line with those of the party.
The former RSS spokesperson later clarified that his views on his blog were his own and did not represent those of the RSS. The BJP and RSS also said that Vaidya had spoken in his personal capacity.

Updated Date: Nov 12, 2012 11:46 AM

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