Even as BJP president Nitin Gadkari faced open dissent on Tuesday, a crucial role in quelling the political storm was played by S Gurumurthy — a well-known chartered accountant who is considered close to the RSS.
Gurumurthy was believed to have been asked by the Sangh to examine documents pertaining to Gadkari days ago, and his findings had ‘revealed’ that the BJP chief’s affairs were “clean”. The chartered accountant could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
On a day veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani voiced open dissent against Gadkari, Gurumurthy met senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj, besides Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh and Jethmalani himself. As the day progressed, he briefed the party core group.
To convince Jethmalani that Gadkari was clean, he gave him documents pertaining to the BJP chief's business dealings. The lawyer said he would go through them, and later pose a few questions to Gadkari.
This was read by some as nuanced softening on the part of Jethmalani.
An inside source told HT that while some leaders in the BJP feared that Gadkari's business dealings could hurt the party's reputation, Gurumurthy's probe had convinced them that no illegality was involved. “We respect Gurumurthy’s command over corporate law. An impartial investigation conducted by him has showed that Gadkari's business model is sound, and no illegality is involved,” the source said. “The independent internal investigation has found him clean, and we are with Gadkari. Let’s wait and see what the external probes have to say.”However, a few leaders doubt the "clean findings" brought out by the RSS-blessed investigation. "Gurumurthy is just trying to back an embattled Gadkari. But this won't be convincing and Gadkari is likely to face trouble soon," one such leader said.