Mumbai/Udaipur, May 24 (IANS) Ending days of speculation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced Thursday that its star chief minister, Gujarat’s Narendra Modi, will attend the national executive meeting after his old foe Sanjay Joshi quit the panel.
‘I talked to Modi, he said he will come to the national executive in Mumbai We will work together shoulder to shoulder for the party,’ BJP president Nitin G-kari said in Mumbai as the two-day meet began Thursday.
Gadkari said that Joshi had resigned to avoid ‘any conflicts in the party’. He added that Joshi quit ‘on his own so that there are no differences within the party over his presence’.
Signalling an end to the much talked about rift between Gadkari and himself, Modi told reporters in Udaipur that he would reach Mumbai around 3 p.m.
Joshi had offered to resign after Modi reportedly decided to keep off the meet due to Joshi’s inclusion in the national executive.
Modi had also kept away from the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections as Joshi was given a key post in managing the campaigning for the party.
Joshi earlier had to resign from the post of party general secretary in 2005 after a clip of him showing him in a compromising position with a woman was circulated.
Gadkari later reinstated Joshi in the party, a move which caused a rift between the party president and Modi. The Gujarat chief minister had also kept away from the party’s national executive meeting in Delhi.
Joshi did not answer his phone when IANS tried to call him.
With Joshi’s exit, expectations are that the equation between Modi and the party leadership will be smoother.
The internal conflict in the party has become increasingly sharp with leaders in many of its stronghold states unhappy with the central leadership.
In Karnataka, former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is at war with incumbent Sadanand Gowda, who was earlier his confidant. The two have now fallen apart.
In Rajasthan, also a BJP stronghold, another former chief minister, Vasundhara Raje, is pitted against Gulabchand Kataria, a party leader.
Modi chose to target the UPA government on hike in petrol prices, and did not talk about the conflicts.
‘The government which promised to give results in 100 days, hiked the petrol prices on the next day of completing its three years,’ Modi said in Udaipur.