Rift in open as Gadkari, Advani avoid meeting
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The cracks in the BJP stood out on Wednesday as party chief Nitin Gadkari failed to meet L K Advani even as he called on senior leaders Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh to thank them for their support. Gadkari had also skipped meeting Advani on Tuesday, after which the senior leader had absented himself from the BJP core group meeting that reaffirmed support to the party president.
Asked about Gadkari and Advani not meeting each other, an Advani loyalist said: "He is not unhappy. One should ask the BJP president."
While avoiding any direct reply on the matter, party leaders sought to deny that there was a "rift", reminding that Advani had been the first person to come to Gadkari's defence after the controversy over the charges against him broke. Advani had issued a press statement praising Gadkari for offering to face a probe by the government.
Gadkari aides also said that the BJP president will call on Advani on Thursday to wish him on his birthday.
The Congress, particularly general secretary Digvijaya Singh, had a field day on the matter. "My admiration for Advaniji has gone up for his Principled Stand on Gadkari. Advaniji sangharsh karo Jaswant Yashwant Ram aapke saath hein," Singh tweeted.
RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy also took to Twitter, but to defend Gadkari. In a series of tweets, he suggested that the "competitive sensationalising" tendency of the media and the "media shyness" of a "Nagpur group (which) is a reputed group of Jain family with 2000 cr asset base. (that) manages 15 k worth Jain charities" resulted in the controversy over Gadkari's alleged wrongdoings in his businesses.
He claimed that he had "met them, interrogated them and ascertained the truth" before arriving at the conclusion that Gadkari was not only legally but also morally not in the wrong.