Mumbai: In a show of strength vis-a-vis party President, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday forced the resignation of his detractor Sanjay Joshi from BJP national executive, as an apparent price for his participation in the meeting. The Modi issue dominated the first day's session of the two-day national executive ahead of which Joshi resigned paving the way for the Gujarat Chief Minister's attendance.

Joshi, who was a special invitee to the national executive, has in a letter to Gadkari said he is relinquishing his post in "larger interest" of the party. Modi and Joshi have been at loggerheads and the recent decision by Gadkari to induct Joshi into the executive was not taken kindly by the Chief Minister. Modi had threatened to boycott the meeting if Joshi was present.

Gadkari, who worked behind the scenes to get Joshi's resignation, later announced the end of a "small controversy" and declared he and the Gujarat strongman will work together to strengthen the party, setting the stage for deliberations at the national executive.

Gadkari said that with the end of this row, he and Modi will work "shoulder to shoulder".

The BJP chief also praised Joshi for showing "large heart" in resigning from the executive in the interest of the organisation to "end" any controversy. There were apprehensions that the absence of Modi could cast a shadow over the meet which is expected to pave the way for a second three-year for Gadkari as BJP chief.

Modi had stayed away from the last meeting of the national executive held in Delhi in September last year. apparently peeved at the induction of Joshi into Uttar Pradesh election campaign by Gadkari. He also did not campaign in the UP assembly polls.


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