As BJP national president Nitin Gadkari slips from one controversy into another, the Shiv Sena has said that the criticisms are linked to the possibility of him being given a second term as party chief.
An editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna on Wednesday, said “the BJP’s national president Nitin Gadkari is caught in a bind. His opponents have surrounded him completely… Gadkari has to fight on two fronts, in the house and outside.”
Saamna is edited by Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and the party’s spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut is executive editor.
“In such conditions, many people lose their IQ, that is, their intelligence quotient and they are confused. That is why Gadkari got into trouble (comparing) the intelligence quotient of (underworld don) Dawood and (Swami) Vivekananda…,” Saamna says.
It also asks whether Gadkari’s mentors in the RSS would support him on this. “Not even one leader from the BJP has stood solidly behind Gadkari in this matter,” the editorial pointed out. This is in contrast to when senior leaders rushed to his defence after IAC activist Anjali Damania accused him of business dealings with NCP chief and union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and the Purti controversy.
Saamna said the attacks by the Congress against Gadkari were aimed at deflecting attention from the controversies surrounding it. “It is not a coincidence that allegations are being made against Gadkari at a time when he is due for a second term. Something is cooking and that is against Gadkari,” the editorial said.
“Mahesh Jethmalani resigned from the national executive against Gadkari and his father Ram Jethmalani has demanded Gadkari’s resignation… Everyone knows the relationship between Jethmalani and (Gujarat chief minister Narendra) Modi and the strained relations between Modi-Gadkari are also public knowledge,” Saamna said.