Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s loyal ministers met RSS’s second-in-charge Mohan Bhagwat to seek action to rein in fiery VHP leader Praveen Togadia, who has openly come out against their leader and declared that his group would not come to the party’s aid in the assembly polls.
Modi dispatched state home minister Amit Shah and Gujarat BJP chief Purushottam Rupala to Delhi after Togadia’s threat last Sunday. Rupala also met with BJP chief Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani seeking “cooperation” of the party’s high command to contain the rebel MLAs and their backers.
Modi is upset that efforts have been made by some central BJP leaders to show he does not enjoy support of the all-powerful Sangh Parivar, and thereby, encourage the rebel legislators.
Rupala is understood to have conveyed to the RSS leader that, unless Togadia was stopped from attacking Modi, a strong message would not go to the BJP workers to work unitedly in the assembly polls.
Togadia had slammed the Modi government at a VHP meet on Sunday for “deviating from the Hindutva agenda and trying to woo Muslims.” Rupala refuted Togadia’s allegation but said the BJP still considered the VHP a family. “We have no grudge against the VHP.” Rupala also said Togadia had since clarified his remarks.
It is no secret that Modi and Togadia fell out a few months ago. A Patel himself, the VHP leader aligned with BJP rebels running a campaign for Modi’s removal, upset by his style of functioning. At a meeting in Surat recently, Togadia appealed to Patels to unite and “defeat the enemy” and criticised the government after the rape and murder of two Koli girls in Junagadh.