FORMER Union Minister of State for Skill Development (Independent Charge) Rajiv Pratap Rudy Tuesday called on Union Minister for Surface Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari at his residence here on Tuesday. Their meeting, which lasted for about 60 minutes, was described by Gadkari’s personal staff as “courtesy call”. Later in the evening, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu also came to meet Gadkari. What transpired between them couldn’t be immediately known.
Sources indicated that there was more to Rudy’s visit than what met the eye. “He was removed from ministership in the previous reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was supposed to be taking up “party responsibility”. So, far, however, no responsibility has been bestowed upon him. Today’s meeting with Gadkari should have some political significance. A courtesy call could have been made even in Delhi. It wasn’t necessary for Rudy to come all the way down to Nagpur for it,” they said.
Rudy was in-charge of Maharashtra BJP during the 2014 Assembly elections. He is close to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and was included in the Union Cabinet in the second reshuffle reportedly on Singh’s recommendation. Rudy himself described the meeting with Gadkari as “general”. Talking to mediapersons, he condemned the attack on RSS activists in the country, particularly in Kerala. “The killing of Ludhiana RSS leader Ravinder Gosain is condemnable. It is becoming a matter of serious concern that the members of a particular organisation, which is serving the country, are being killed. This is particularly serious in Kerala.”
Rudy’s expression of concern for the RSS and his meeting with Gadkari after being dropped from the Union Cabinet comes close on the heels of the meeting of Bhandara-gondia BJP MP Nana Patole with senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who has hit out against the Centre for its economic policies, at Nagpur airport. On Dussehra, former deputy PM and senior BJP leader L K Advani had come to attend the annual Vijayadashmi function of the RSS where RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had expressed concern over the condition of informal sector in the country in a subtle manner and had also called upon the Narendra Modi government to pay attention to it as also to small traders and businessmen and the agriculture sector.