M A I N   N E W S

Modi has his way, attends party meet after forcing out bete noire Joshi
Anita Katyal
Our Political Correspondent

New Delhi, May 24
After fighting a prolonged battle with Gujarat Chief Minister Narednra Modi, the RSS was today forced to acknowledge his growing stature as it reluctantly gave in to his demand to oust his arch rival Sanjay Joshi from the BJPís national executive.

The Sangh and its nominee, BJP President Nitin Gadkari, worked on Joshi to resign from the partyís national executive in order to buy peace with the Gujarat strongman who had made this a pre-condition for his participation in the ongoing meeting of the partyís national executive in Mumbai.

Although Gadkari has had a running battle with Modi, the BJP chief was willing to sacrifice his close aide Joshi as he did not want anything to mar the national executive meeting which is to adopt a resolution seeking an amendment to the party constitution giving Gadkari a second consecutive term as party president.

But Joshiís departure and the subsequent ďtruceĒ called between Modi and the Sangh and Gadkari has the potential of upsetting and changing power equations in the BJP. Party cadres, who have been feeling demoralised over the leadership vacuum in the party, will intensify their campaign for projecting Modi as their Prime Ministerial candidate.There is an overwhelming view among BJP workers that the Gujarat strongman is their best best if the party is to cash in on waning popularity of the UPA government and grab power in Delhi.

If Modi has his fair share of supporters in the party, he also has a sizeable number of detractors. Under normal circumstances, the RSS would have embraced Modi after he assiduously pursued the Hindutva agenda. But the Sangh has never been happy with the Gujarat Chief Ministerís style of functioning and is disapproving of his dictatorial manner. On his part, Modi has marginalised the RSS in Gujarat and has instead charted an independent path.

The RSS is faced with a serious dilemma as far as Modiís future role in the party is concerned. It has to decide if it wants to continue with the present team of bickering leaders or it is willing to overlook Modiís deficiencies and project him as the PM candidate.

Threat from Gujarat workers

A large number of delegates from Gujarat loyal to the Chief Minister had allegedly threatened to stay away from the national executive meeting if Joshi remained in the body. With intermediaries working on Joshi, he quit on the grounds of preserving party unity.

Compromise formula

The national executive meeting of the BJP is expected to amend the party constitution to allow Gadkari second term as president. As per the compromise terms worked out, Modi is to endorse Gadkari for the post of party president, sources said.





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