Nagpur: Senior RSS ideologue M G Vaidya has stoked a major controversy by suggesting that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was behind Ram Jethmalani's demand for BJP president Nitin Gadkari's resignation, a statement from which RSS distanced itself.
BJP also sought to distance itself from Vaidya's remark, saying that no such information has been given to the party. In his blog, Vaidya has said the "needle of suspicion in the campaign against BJP president Nitin Gadkari points to Gujarat BJP and Chief Minister Narendra Modi."
He also noted that "Ram Jethmalani had in one breath said he is seeking the resignation of Gadkari and that he also wanted to see Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister in 2014."
While both L K Advani and Gadkari have publicly stated that they don't have Prime Ministerial ambitions, Vaidya, a former spokesman of RSS, said he "hasn't read anywhere that Narendra Modi has denied reports of his ambition to become the Prime Minister."
Vaidya on Monday stood by his remark, saying, "It is my opinion and because Jethmalani has combined two things demanding Gadkari's resignation and making Narendra Modi as PM, I think that the needle of suspicion goes to Gujarat.
"I did not say that, I just said that needle of suspicion goes to Modi and that raises suspicion if Jethmalani is entitled to his own point of view, I am also entitled to my point of view and RSS has nothing to do with it."
However, RSS official spokesperson Ram Madhav said the views expressed in the blog by Vaidya are personal and this is "not the official RSS line."
BJP reacts to Vaidya's remarks
Reacting to Vaidya's remarks, BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said, "No such information has been given to us. We are not reacting at all. Let the inquiry be over, let there be no trial outside, it is not fair. I don't know from where this information came. I don't think that this is view of RSS. I can also tell you".
"I am also a RSS swayamsevak, with my own experience of 40 years RSS has not expressed such views, it is not an authorised opinion of RSS. Let me make it very clear. To my knowledge and understanding as a swayamsevak, I also know how RSS functions and as a BJP functionary I don't agree with reported things," Naidu said.
Earlier, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani and his son Mahesh had said Gadkari should immediately step down from his post as charges against him with regard to funding of his Purti group were damaging the party.
Jethmalani had claimed to have the support of other senior party leaders like Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha.