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Ram & Gadkari make peace

New Delhi, Jan. 11: BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and suspended party leader Ram Jethmalani today met at L.K. Advani’s residence and were learnt to have struck truce, with sources saying Narendra Modi was the “prime mover” behind the patch-up bid.

The move comes less than two months after the suspension and is being seen as another example of the increased party clout of the Gujarat chief minister, whom the noted octogenarian lawyer is close to, despite Advani appearing the main mediator.

During a recent visit to Delhi, Modi had pushed for the lawyer’s return to the party, the sources said, adding it is a matter of time before his suspension is revoked.

The action in November followed Jethmalani’s alleged anti-party outbursts, especially his call to Gadkari to step down over allegations of financial irregularities in his business.

Today’s discussions were also being seen as an indication that Gadkari, whose term ended last month, would get a second tenure.

“Jethmalani reaffirmed his faith in the BJP’s ideology and wished the party comes back to power. He also handed over a letter,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

Asked about the suspension, Hussain said: “The matter (revocation) will be considered by the BJP parliamentary board.”

Jethmalani indicated as much. “I hope it will happen. It should happen,” the 89-year-old replied when asked about the plan.

Jethmalani had written to Gadkari saying he should resign over charges of dodgy finances in his Purti group. “You (Gadkari) are set on the path of suicide and determined to drag the whole party with you,” Jethmalani wrote, prompting a showcause.

The veteran lawyer had also criticised the leadership for opposing the appointment of the new CBI chief, Ranjit Sinha, on procedural grounds.