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Jarring notes in parivar

New Delhi, Jan. 30: A jab at the BJP from RSS ideologue M.G. Vaidya for spoiling Nitin Gadkari’s chances for party chief, a rap from Rajnath Singh on Yashwant Sinha and others in the Modi-for-PM chorus — the notes of dissent in the “parivar” suggest the BJP boss’s task is cut out and the RSS is smarting from Mohanrao Bhagwat’s loss of face after Gadkari’s unexpected exit.

BJP sources said last night Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi called Rajnath and asked him why Sinha, Ram Jethmalani and Bihar’s C.P. Thakur raised aloft the flag on his behalf when he had not suggested or done anything to encourage them.

Sources said Modi explained to Rajnath his “only objectives” right now were to govern Gujarat “more effectively” and to take the BJP along with him.

He reportedly said assertions of the kind that Sinha were making were creating an impression that he wanted to be declared Prime Minister without ado while this was “far from the truth”.

Rajnath, who is grappling with the threat of renewed dissension against Vasundhara Raje’s leadership in Rajasthan, conveyed to his party that it should stop speaking on Modi.

Word was also out that the constant clamour for him as Prime Minister could hurt, and not help, his chances eventually.

The speculation in the BJP was that Sinha was allegedly doing it to help other Prime Minister contenders or to curry favour for himself with Modi after he fell foul of the RSS for speaking out against Gadkari publicly.

Rajnath was supposed to declare Vasundhara the new Rajasthan BJP chief. However, in the run-up to the Assembly election, due in November, her detractors — old-timers Ramdas Aggarwal and Gulab Chand Katheria and incumbent state chief Arun Chaturvedi — asked Rajnath how he would “compensate” them.

Vaidya, a former RSS spokesperson, stoked the BJP’s inner churning with a blog he posted on Monday. Vaidya insinuated that Gadkari was done in by an “internal conspiracy” and named Ram Jethmalani, his son, Mahesh, Yashwant and Shatrughan Sinha as being part of it.

Vaidya’s son, Manmohan Vaidya, who heads the Sangh’s propaganda cell, when asked to respond to his father’s blog, said: “He has articulated certain doubts. But the RSS’s stand is that party-related decisions must be taken by the party.”

However, RSS and BJP sources construed Vaidya’s piece as “symptomatic” of the struggle within the Sangh between Marathi-speaking Brahmins (Bhagwat, Vaidya) and the others (notably Suresh Soni and Dattatreya Hosbole) for control over the BJP.

Ultimately, it was Soni’s veto that clinched the matter in Rajnath’s favour, sources said.