BJP, RSS rally behind Gadkari

BJP, RSS rally behind Gadkari

The BJP on Friday night rallied behind its beleaguered president, Nitin Gadkari, and dismissed as “baseless and untrue” media reports of his impending resignation.

“Since Nitin Gadkari has himself offered to face any inquiry, the unanimous view of the party is that it is solidly behind him. All media speculation about his resignation are baseless and untrue," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

He was speaking after Gadkari held a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, general secretary Vijay Goel and some of the spokespersons, including Javadekar.  Earlier, soon after Gadkari arrived in Delhi from Nagpur on Friday evening, he called on L K Advani and held a one-on-one meeting with the veteran leader.

With backing from the party, and from the RSS earlier in the day, Gadkari is well-entrenched in his office, and will continue with his scheduled programmes and appointments as party head.

He will leave for Assembly poll-bound Himachal Pradesh to address election meetings on Saturday.

RSS backing

Earlier in the day, the RSS came out in the open in support of Gadkari, who is accused of raising his business empire on suspicious money, saying action cannot be taken on the basis of media reports.

With pressure mounting on the party chief to come clean, RSS leader Bhaiyyaji Joshi issued a statement, stating that “all the allegations are in the media and investigations are yet to be done” against Gadkari’s 18 companies.

The companies have come under the cloud owing to dummy directors and the huge loan it took from a private company which was given road construction contracts when he was Maharastra leader in mid-90s.

Former BJP president Bangaru Laxman had to go the same day when a Tehelka news portal sting showed him taking Rs one lakh cash and it was aired during the NDA regime. Similarly, L K Advani had to put in his papers when his name figured in infamous Jain hawala diary case carrying a list of pay-offs, despite the fact that the allegations could never be substantiated.

The RSS, interestingly, also described as “unfortunate” attempts to drag the right wing organisation’s name in the controversy – which happened owing to the fact that it was the Sangh Parivar which had catapulted Maharashtra-based Gadkari to the top slot overlooking other contenders.

“If there are complaints against any person or the other, an investigation should be done against all and the guilty be punished,” Joshi said in his official statement. “To give it a political colour is unfortunate,” he added.

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