The rivalry between Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and his party colleague Sanjay Joshi has been pasted across town in Ahmedabad. BJP workers and common citizens were surprised alike when posters praising Joshi appeared overnight at the party headquarters and on the roads in Ahmedabad on Monday night.
The posters, which were immediately removed after the media noticed them, don’t name Modi but criticize those who have damaged Joshi's political career. The posters have Joshi’s photograph and bear the BJP symbol while quoting a poem written by party patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The posters did not refer to Modi directly, but blamed Joshi’s exit on the stubbornness of ‘one leader’ -- referring to Modi and accused him of bullying the party leadership.
“I have no idea who put up those posters so I cannot comment,” Gujarat BJP general secretary Vijay Rupani said. BJP workers were also tightlipped about who could be behind putting up the posters which also appeared in New Delhi.
Modi was instrumental in Joshi’s removal from the party’s national exective last month. Modi attended the national executive only after Joshi’s resignation.
Subsequently, Modi had also ensured that Joshi changed his travel plan to reach Delhi by air, as Joshi’s supporters were eager to facilitate him at various railway stations in Gujarat when Joshi was traveling in Paschim Express from Mumbai to Delhi.
“Why Modi does not like Joshi? He wants to finish his political career because Joshi is equally smart grassroots politician,” a Gujarat RSS leader said.
In 2005, Joshi had to resign as organizing secretary national BJP following a sex CD appeared involving him. However, the CD turned out to be morphed but the damage was already done. A section of BJP leaders and top RSS leaders pointed fingers at Modi for bringing out the sex CD to target Joshi, who was emerging as powerful in the BJP.
Posters in support of Joshi have been put up in Ahmedabad and New Delhi, quoting a poem written by BJP leader AB Vajpayee and bearing the BJP symbol, CNN-IBN reported.
Posters were also put up outside the BJP headquarters and BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi’s residence in New Delhi but were quickly pulled down, IANS reported.
Joshi has denied having anything to do with the posters.
Although the posters did not refer to Modi directly, they blamed Joshi’s exit on the stubborness of ‘one leader’ — referring to Modi and accused him of bullying the party.
However, unlike characteristic political posters, these ones did not say which political leaders had them printed and put up.
Joshi, who was seen as a link between the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had resigned before the BJP’s national
executive meet held last month, following which Modi had attended it.
Earlier, a set of former BJP leaders had met with former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel in Ahmedabad where they had accused the party of bending to Modi’s requests.