New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi met former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi on Friday amidst reports of growing rift within the top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership. The meeting assumes significance given the unease in the party and a growing distance between Modi and senior leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj.
Modi, who had come to attend a Planning Commission meet in Delhi, is keen to be projected as the BJP prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The meeting with Vajpayee took place on a day the BJP mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh severely criticised the Gujarat Chief Minister.
However, despite the report of the differences with Advani, the Gujarat Chief Minister went to meet him after meeting the former prime minister.
Advani had on Thursday attacked BJP President Nitin Gadkari in his blog, questioning the decisions taken by him in the past six months.
Advani is reportedly upset with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), which paved the way for a second term for Gadkari as BJP president, despite his objections (Advani). He is also not too keen on letting Modi become a more powerful leader.
Sources say Gadkari, too, is upset with the public criticism by Advani. Gadkari did not invite Advani for a meeting on Thursday evening where the impact of Bharat Bandh called by his party and its allies were discussed.
However, the RSS seems to have worked out a blue print with the Gadkari-Modi duo playing a crucial role in the party's decision making process in the future. The two leaders came close after Modi baiter Sanjay Joshi was forced to quit from the BJP National Executive.
Modi had initially refused to attend the National Executve that took place in Mumbai in May 2012. He only agreed after Joshi was forced to quit and supported Gadkari by agreeing to a second term for him as the BJP chief.