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BJP, Gurumurthy again back Gadkari

Posted on Nov 14, 10:56PM | IANS

Seeking to end internal tensions and scotch speculations about BJP chief Nitin Gadkari not getting a clean chit from the party over financial dealings of a company he is linked to, the BJP and RSS acolyte S. Gurumurthy Wednesday reiterated that there was no moral or legal wrongdoing by Gadkari.

The reiteration came a day after Gurumurthy's varying tweets led sections of media to say that he had not given a clean chit to Gadkari following his analysis of the accounts of Purti group, to which Gadkari is linked.

The BJP has been bracing internal tensions over Gadkari's continuation in office following allegations about financial transactions of companies that invested in the Purti Group he heads.

Gurumurthy, a chartered accountant considered close to BJP's mentor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), wrote a letter to Gadkari Wednesday that he wished to formally place on record his views - earlier expressed at the party's core committee meeting here Nov 6 - which had led the party giving a virtual clean chit to its chief.

Gurumurthy wrote that he found no wrongdoing by Gadkari in documents related to Purti and accused the media of giving a political colour to the issue following some of his tweets.

"At the meeting of the core committee, on my investigation of the Purti documents, I had clearly said that you had not done any wrongdoing morally or legally," Gurumurthy wrote in the letter, released by the BJP Wednesday.

"I reiterate that on my investigation, I have found and written in my columns in the New Indian Express that there is no wrongdoing by you morally or legally in the Purti matter," the letter added.

Gurumurthy, who is also a corporate advisor and columnist, said he had "professionally examined the Purti papers" and expressed his views.

"But I saw sections of media giving political colour to my professional views," he said.

Calling upon Gadkari to bring his letter to the attention of BJP core committee members who were present when he briefed them Nov 6, Gurumurthy said the letter might also be released to the media.

The letter follows Gurumurthy's tweets Tuesday which led sections of media to say that he had not given a clean chit to Gadkari on the Purti issue.

Following the news reports, Gurumurthy clarified Tuesday in a tweet that he had given "a clear chit to Gadkari on Purti affairs".

He also said that he had deleted the tweets that some sections of media were misunderstanding.

After the BJP core group met Nov 6, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said: "Shri Gadkari has no direct or indirect interest in the 18 investment companies which have invested in the Purti Group."

Gadkari has enjoyed the backing of the RSS. The rift in the Sangh Parivar over allegations against Gadkari had again come to the fore Monday after RSS ideologue M.G. Vaidya indicated that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was behind Gadkari's present troubles.

Both the RSS and the BJP had swiftly denied any linkage.

Party MP Ram Jethmalani had targeted Gadkari over the allegations related to Purti Group, saying that he should resign and not seek a second term as party president.

Jethmalani's son Mahesh Jethmalani had quit the party's national executive over the issue.