New Delhi:  Amid growing dissensions and leadership tussle in the party, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called on BJP's senior most leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani here.

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Several BJP leaders still invoke Vajpayee, who has been ailing for the last few years, in their bid to gain more legitimacy and wider acceptability within the party.

Modi's meeting with Vajpayee appears to be one such attempt even as he is fast emerging as a Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections.

The former Prime Minister's old pictures, speeches and poems are often used by the top leaders of the party because of his popularity and appeal within BJP and outside.

Sources said Modi met Vajpayee to enquire about his health and seek his blessings.

Before leaving for Ahmedabad, Modi also called on Advani.

FEUD AT THE TOP IN BJP CONTINUES

Feud at the top in the BJP took new dimensions with the party mouthpiece making a veiled attack on leaders including Narendra Modi and B S Yeddyurappa, asking them to rise above issues of self and self-existence.

This meeting comes in the backdrop of Advani's scathing attack on party president Nitin Gadkari- with whom Modi was hardly on talking terms till recently- on his blog yesterday. Advani had hit out at Gadkari for some of the recent decisions in Uttar Pradesh elections, as well as in Karnataka and Jharkhand.

Advani is Lok Sabha MP from Gandhinagar. Modi and Advani have also had differences on certain issues but the latter has also praised the chief minister profusely on different occasions on his blog and in his speeches.

"Atalji, Advaniji, Dr Joshiji have been shining in the horizon of Indian politics for so many years only because they have always considered organisation to be supreme. They kept themselves within the fold of BJP even though their stature is very high but they never tried to grow taller than the party," the curiously worded editorial by Prabhat Jha, editor of Kamal Sandesh, said.

"Rising above the petty issues of 'self' and 'other' and issues of 'self-existence' everyone should come together and unite for the existence of the party," was another line in the editorial.

Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar sought to dismiss media interpretations of the editorial as "not fair" and "unjustified".  He asked the media not to "create a story out of nothing".

In what is seen as a subtle criticism of leaders, the editorial at another place makes a point, "as one ascends the ladder, his understanding should also elevate. But the irony is that it is always seen that on reaching the top, even after knowing that a day will come when he has to come down, he tries to belittle the ones below him".

Jha himself played down the editorial, maintaining that it is being interpreted differently by everybody.

"The organisation is supreme. If everybody works unitedly we will achieve our target. That is the message of the editorial... The feeling of the workers is that organisation is above all," Jha said.

(Agencies)

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