BJP Parliamentary Board drops Nitin Gadkari; ‘pre-emptive move for 2024 polls’


Photo Credit Twitter Office of Nitin Gadkari

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, August 18: The ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) continue to make a sense of the decision to drop Union Minister Nitin Gadkari from the Parliamentary Board even a day after the announcement of the rejig in the highest decision making body.

Popular interpretation in the saffron ranks converge on the “pre-emptive move to clip the wings of Gndkari ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections for any eventuality if the BJP fails to go past the half way mark in the lower House of Parliament”.

“The rejig has come close to the JD (U) quitting the National Democratic Alliance. The BJP is now without any major ally in the Hindi heartland. What if the BJP wins 245-260 Lok Sabha seats in 2024? Only Gadkari has acceptance among potential allies, while he enjoys appreciation from opposition parties, reflected in loud applause for him whenever he answers questions,” said a senior BJP functionary.

The immediate trigger appears to be the formation of the BJP-Shiv Sena (Shinde) government in Maharashtra.

It’s being stated in the BJP circles that Gadkari wasn’t kept in the loop of the government formation including propping up Eknath Shinde as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Sources said that Gadkari had been miffed and he had made leaders of the party who called him for advices know his anger.

Gadkari is widely known to be blunt in his utterances, and over the years he has earned a reputation of being a no-nonsense politician.

Gadkari, who is close to the RSS, is, however, not known to have rosy relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah.

“Gadkari as the president of the BJP had brought in Sanjay Joshi in the national executive of the party and had also given him the task to work for the organization in Uttar Pradesh. Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat at that time, had refused to attend the national executive meeting of the BJP in Mumbai,” said Sameer Chougaonkar, a veteran journalist, who keeps close eyes on the Maharashtra politics and the affairs of the RSS.

Indeed, Gadkari had then hastily removed Joshi, which had calmed Modi.

Gadkari was seen as a front-runner for the post of the chief minister in Maharashtra. Devendra Fadnavis, Gadkari’s apprentice in politics, had become the chief minister.

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