CORPORATE PRESS RELEASES (INDIA) news desk, May 25,2012
Former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is a “human bomb” within the BJP whose president Nitin Gadkari’s path is “paved with landmines”, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said here today.
In a candid reflection on the divisions in BJP, marked by the resignation of Sanjay Joshi as a special invitee to its national executive to secure the attendance of Narendra Modi, Thackeray, the oldest ally of the saffron party, acknowledged the dominant stature of the Gujarat Chief Minister whose consent had to be taken to ensure a second term for Gadkari.
“Modi’s consent had to be obtained to pave way for Nitin Gadkari’s second term as BJP chief and for that, Sanjay Joshi had to be made the sacrificial lamb,” Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“BJP had to accept Modi’s condition that Joshi had to be shown the door if it wanted the Gujarat Chief Minister to attend the meeting,” the Sena chief said.
Gadkari had to extract the resignation of Joshi, an old RSS hand considered close to him and a bete noire of the Gujarat Chief Minister, just before the national executive meeting began on May 24, to persuade Modi to attend the conclave.
BJP’s constitution was amended by the national executive at its meeting, apparently to clear the decks for a second term to Gadkari.
Thackeray described party strongman from Karnataka and former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa as a “human bomb in the BJP”, in an apparent reference to the Lingayat leader’s potential to cause damage to the party in the only southern state where it is in power. Yeddyurappa too had attended the national executive after showing initial reluctance.
Though Gadkari may have bought peace with Modi by sacking Joshi and kept Yeddyurappa’s ambition for a second shot at power under check, Thackeray had a word of caution for the BJP chief whose path he said was fraught with danger.
“Gadkari would always have to bear in mind that his path is paved with landmines,” the Shiv Sena patriarch said.
Referring to the growing prime ministerial ambitions of senior BJP leaders, Thackeray said earlier only L K Advani was the claimant for the post.
“In the new script, several new heroes have stepped forward from the wing. Media says that besides Advani, the list now includes Gadkari, Modi, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley,” he said.
Thackeray suggested that everybody should keep personal ambitions aside and strive for NDA’s victory in next Lok Sabha elections.
The Sena chief also suggested that efforts should be made to bring old allies Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik back into the NDA fold.
The BJP had at the end of the Mumbai conclave stopped just short of inviting Mamata Banerjee to rejoin the NDA, saying she should “take a call” on the issue, considering her “suffocation” in the UPA.
“As far as Mamata Banerjee is concerned, I can only say that she has worked with us, has been a minister in the Vajpayee government. She has seen the working of the NDA, the respect, consideration we gave (her). And she has seen the suffocation of the UPA as well. Let her take a call,” party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had told reporters after the two-day meeting concluded.