A day after senior party leader LK Advani's blog criticised Nitin Gadkari, the party's mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh raised hackles of party leaders by its criticism of internal wrangles in Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
An editorial in the fortnightly said: "Some of the happenings in the BJP-ruled Karnataka and Gujarat along with BJP Rajasthan have hurt the sentiments of the common people."
BJP insiders saw the comment as an attack on Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as also ex-Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and leader of opposition in Rajasthan Vasundhra Raje.
Modi and Gadkari reached truce only at the Mumbai conclave last week after 8 months of stand-off, and BSY dropped plans to revolt after supporting Modi. Last month, Raje had piped down after the party high command bowed to her demand that no BJP leader organized any campaign in the state without her approval.
The editorial said, "As one ascends the ladder, his understanding should also elevate. But the irony is that it is always seen that on reaching the top even after knowing that a day will come when he has to come down he tries to belittle the one's below him. When we applaud a person more than required then we in fact ourselves open the door of his possible distraction. Similarly if one is criticized in extremity, we open the door for his possible exit."
The BJP downplayed the contents of the editorial. “There is nothing in the editorial. They have taken no names,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
Kamal Sandesh is edited by Prabha Jha, BJP MP in Rajya Sabha, who heads Madhya Pradesh BJP and is seen as a rival to chief minister Shivraj Singh
Chouhan, and believed to be in a race towards replacing him in the near future.