The controversy regarding the “clean chit” to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari by chartered accountant and RSS interlocutor S Gurumurthy refused to die down on Wednesday, with BJP national vice-president Vinay Katiyar saying that the party shouldn't give importance to Gurumurthy.
Ironically, Katiyar's statement came just after the party released a letter from Gurumurthy to Gadkari reiterating his clean chit to the embattled BJP president, a day after some tweets by the interlocutor were widely seen as his having gone back on his support for Gadkari.
“Gurumurthy has no role to play in the BJP, and there is no need to give importance to him,” Katiyar told HT on phone. He refused to elaborate, though the statement was seen as eroding the value of Gurumurthy's clean chit to Gadkari.
This rejection of any role for Gurumurthy in BJP's affairs came hours after the party released to the media a letter written by Gurumurthy to Gadkari expressing his “professional” opinion that there was no moral or legal wrong in the dealings of the Purti group, with which the BJP chief is linked.
“At the meeting of the (BJP) 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 to Gadkari on 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.”
He added, “I had professionally examined the Purti papers and expressed my professional views. But I saw sections of media giving political colour to my professional views.”
The context of the clarification: Gurumurthy had reportedly tweeted on Tuesday that no party president should get involved in business, adding: “I have not given clean chit to NG (Nitin Gadkari). I cannot give clean chit to anyone I don't know fully. I don't know NG at all.”
Later, he re-tweeted, “I think I am being misinterpreted. I have clearly said media allegations on Gadkari are false. If this is clean chit I have given it.” He added soon after, “Let me clarify that I have given clear chit to Gadkari on Purti affairs. That is all.” He then deleted the tweets that he said were being misinterpreted.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said the controversy had brought out the “internal fight” within the BJP and RSS.
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad defended Gadkari, asking what the government had done about charges against Congress leaders.