BJP chief Rajnath Singh on Tuesday met former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee and spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and party general secretary Arun Jaitley to clear the air over remarks attributed to him in an interview published in a news magazine.
BJP’s spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to the Outlook editor, saying Singh’s observations have been "deliberately distorted" to convey a negative image.
Singh told Vajpayee and other BJP leaders that he had never made those remarks attributed to him, particularly that the RSS had a big say in the crucial decisions he took including the axing of Modi from the party’s parliamentary board and Jaitley as spokesperson of BJP.
Though his meeting with Vajpayee was fixed before the row broke out, the issue figured in their discussion, BJP officials said. Singh also refuted that he had said, “Why should Atalji and Advaniji retire if they don’t want to?”
An aide of Singh said Modi had spoken to the BJP president on Tuesday. Jaitely said Singh had spoken to him, emphatically denying the remarks.
Contending, "there appears to be a motive behind this distortion", Prasad wrote in his letter to the newsmagazine that the interview was given in Hindi which has been translated into English and has been conveniently “manipulated and distorted to suit this purpose."