Former BJP leader Sanjay Joshi in seen in this file photo. AFP
Ahead of the crucial assembly polls in Gujarat, former BJP general secretary Sanjay Joshi, who is known as bête noire of chief minister Narendra Modi, is coming to the state for a two-day visit to meet local leaders and BJP workers.
Joshi will be visiting south Gujarat on October 14-15.
In June, Narendra Modi had forced the party President Nitin Gadkari to remove Joshi from the national executive. Modi had threatened to skip the national executive meeting if his demand was not met.
Subsequently, Joshi had also resigned as BJP's in charge of organisational affairs in Utter Pradesh.
On Friday, a BJP leader Jayantibhai Kewat, who is co-convener of national BJP fishermen cell, issued a detailed scheduled of Joshi on his letter head, which created ripples among the BJP leadership in the state.
Gujarat BJP general secretary Vijay Rupani feigned ignorance when asked whether Joshi's visit was official since a local BJP leader had issued his details. He asked to contact Gujarat BJP organisational secretary Bhikhubhai Dalsania, who was not available on his mobile.
A senior BJP leader said that Joshi's visit in the state is set to shake Narendra Modi and his loyalists, who have taken control over the party in the state.
"Obviously, they would not like the fact that Joshi is coming here and meeting he local workers. Joshi is hugely popular leader among the BJP cadre in the state," a BJP leader said.
Jayantibhai Kewat said Joshi will address a meeting on Swami Vivekanand in Surat. Interestingly, Modi completed his one month long Swami Vivekanand Yatra on Thursday.
Following Joshi's removal from the national executive, posters and hoardings supporting Joshi and taking digs at Modi had sprung up in Gujarat and Delhi and many other places, causing embarrassment to the party.
Subsequently, Joshi had appealed his followers and supporters not to put up posters taking potshot at any BJP leader in Gujarat or elsewhere.
Before Modi became CM of Gujarat in 2001, Joshi was Gujarat BJP organising secretary, while Keshubhai was CM. After Modi's arrival, Joshi was elevated as national general secretary (organization) of BJP in Delhi.
However, in 2005 he had to resign from the powerful post of the party as a purported sex CD was prepared showing him in a compromising position with a woman. However, the CD turned out to be purported but it was alleged that the same wad prepared at the behest of Modi to launch character assassination of Joshi, who was seen as a potential threat to Modi in Gujarat.