Gadkari calls Vaidya's remark unfounded, says 'BJP unitedly behind Modi'
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari has termed as unfounded M.G. Vaidya's remark that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was behind the campaign to make him quit as the party chief, and said all leaders have been working cohesively and unitedly for the cause of the party.
"My attention has been drawn to a Maratahi blog written by M.G. Vaidya, a senior journalist. The substance of which has also been published by a section of the media. The writer has tried to link recent comments by one of the party's MP with Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat. The BJP completely rejects such insinuations, as it is totally unfounded," said BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, while quoting Gadkari.
"All central leaders of the party and its chief ministers have been working cohesively and unitedly for the cause of the party. We are fighting Gujarat assembly elections with complete unity of purpose and total mutual confidence. BJP is firmly and unitedly behind Narendra Modi and we are confident that the party will win decisively in the ensuing assembly elections," he added.
Vaidya earlier said Modi is designing the dissent within the BJP over whether Gadkari should continue in office.
"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 wrote in his blog on Sunday.
"Modi himself seems to have strong prime ministerial ambitions because LK Advani and Nitin Gadkari have already said that they are not in the race for the PM. But Narendra Modi has still not said anything on this issue," he added.
Vaidya said it was important that the BJP appear united and also that "there is no need to deliberate over the PM candidate for 2014 now in 2012."
Vaidya in his blog also wrote: "Ram Jethmalani should not have expressed his displeasure against Nitin Gadkari publicly. Any BJP member or MP can feel that Nitin Gadkari should resign, but they should raise this issue on the party platform."
Earlier, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani and his son Mahesh had said Gadkari should immediately step down from his post as the charges against him were damaging the party.
He claimed to have the support of other party leaders like Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha.
"I have been in touch with Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha. We seem to be on the same wavelength. But I don't presume to predict how they are going to act today or tomorrow. But we four of us are clearly of the opinion that a resignation at this time from the party president is imminently called for," Jethmalani had said.