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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Gadkari hasn't erred, stay with chief: BJP brass to partymen

Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 27, 2012
First Published: 23:47 IST(27/10/2012) | Last Updated: 23:52 IST(27/10/2012)

The BJP continues to stand behind party president Nitin Gadkari - who went to campaign in Himachal Pradesh according to the schedule on Saturday - with a dominant view emerging as of now in the party that the charges against him are "political" and need to be fought politically.

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The line that emerged at the late night meeting of the top party brass on Friday was that the BJP wouldn't succumb to the "attack" of the Congress and other forces, and would put in place a formulation for telling party workers that Gadkari hadn't erred and needed to stay on.

This, however, is also a sign that the party is aware that the charges can be damaging at a time when it was going hammer and tongs to corner the Congress on graft.

Party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who interacted with the media in Chandigarh on Saturday, told HT: "The party has taken note of his offer to volunteer for a probe and stands by him. He has agreed to be probed despite being aware of a hostile government and central agencies."

However, a section of the party sees the allegations as damaging and was also unhappy about Gadkari campaigning in Himachal Pradesh and blunting the BJP's charge against the Congress over allegations against Virbhadra Singh.

The RSS continued to back Gadkari on Saturday, with party Sarkaryavaha Bhaiyyaji Joshi saying in Patna there was no need for anyone to quit only on the basis of allegations. However, he added that it was an internal matter of the BJP, nuancing the Sangh's backing in a way that keeps the organisation clear of the charges.

'Gadkari's stay will help Cong'
Gadkari's continuance as BJP president will help in exposing the main opposition party's "corrupt face" in the public, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said on Saturday. Singh sought to downplay pre-poll surveys predicting victory for BJP in Gujarat, saying they are incorrect and Congress is contesting the assembly election due in December with an aim to secure a win.


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