Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi proved his dominance over the BJP and its top leadership, including party president Nitin Gadkari, on Thursday by turning up for the national executive meet here only after the exit of rival Sanjay Joshi.
Joshi, who is known to enjoy the backing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, had to resign from the national executive late Wednesday amid
signals that Modi would skip the conclave for the second time on his account.
Announcing the end of a “small controversy”, Gadkari said Joshi had offered to step down. He declared that Modi would “work with us to strengthen the party”. Meanwhile, the decks were cleared for a second term for Gadkari as party chief, with the party constitution being changed to facilitate the move.
The Modi-Joshi tiff dates back to 1995, when the BJP came to power in Gujarat for the first time. In three years, Modi, who was party state organising secretary, was packed off to Delhi and replaced with Joshi from the Maharashtra RSS.
But Joshi was later sidelined after a sleazy CD purportedly featuring him surfaced in 2005. Fingers were pointed at Modi.
Gadkari had rehabilitated Joshi earlier this year, giving him an organisational role for the Uttar Pradesh polls. And Modi, as expected, skipped campaigning in UP.