New Delhi: In a major breather for Nitin Gadkari, his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has unanimously backed him as the party president, saying there's no question of him quitting over allegations of dubious land deals. The decision was taken at a late-night party meeting on Friday.
From the time Gadkari arrived in Delhi, speculation started doing the rounds about his fate. His first stop in the capital was BJP patriarch LK Advani's residence. A couple of hours later, having made a strong case for himself, he got the BJP rallying around him completely.
"We stand by our party president. All speculation of him resigning is all wrong," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar. Just before this show of support from his party, there was a statement from the RSS too. Senior RSS leader Bhaiya Ji Joshi, on one hand, distanced RSS from the controversy, but on the other also said that Gadkari was being tried by the media.
Without naming Gadkari he said, "Some of the allegations have been levelled by sections of the media only and an authorised agency is yet to look into these allegations. It is unfortunate that the discourse on these allegations has turned political."
The statement was read as a breather for Gadkari. He now will be campaigning as per his schedule in Himachal Pradesh as well.
The reason why RSS is batting for Gadkari aggressively is because he was their appointee as the BJP President. If Gadkari had to be dumped at this stage, it would have given a huge advantage to the Congress. Sacking Gadkari now would have meant an end to his entire political career. RSS also believes Gadkari is being targetted by a section of the BJP itself.
But the question is as to how long can Gadkari continue like this? At a time when the BJP has made corruption a calling card, to have a president himself under scrutiny, is bound to be a disadvantage.