Joshi exits BJP in war with Modi

He left behind an indignant buzz that denied his exit.

Written by Nistula Hebbar | New Delhi | Published:June 8, 2012 9:29 pm

Narendra Modi’s bete noire Sanjay Joshi left the BJP today,signalling a significant escalation of tensions in the party. He left behind an indignant buzz that denied his exit and invoked portentous comparisons with the injustice done to the Pandavas,which ultimately led to the epic battle of the Mahabharata.

“Sanjay Joshi has requested (BJP president) Nitin Gadkari to relieve him from the party. His request has been accepted,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said at an official briefing.

But close aides of Joshi insisted he was “still in the party,and had only been divested of his responsibilities in Uttar Pradesh”. Joshi had continued to look after UP even after being removed as a special invitee to the party’s national executive following Modi’s threat of a boycott of the meet.

“There was constant pressure from the party president,and finally Sanjay Joshi resigned his responsibilities,” a source close to Joshi said. “This is like the beginning of the Mahabharata war,when the Pandavas said they would be happy with just five villages,and were still denied. UP is like those five villages for the BJP,and Joshi has been denied even that paltry responsibility.”

Joshi’s exit is a victory for Modi,with whom he has had a bitter,decade-old feud. It underscores the firming up of the alliance between the Gujarat chief minister and his party president,with several second generation Delhi leaders aligned with them.

The RSS and BJP have spoken in conflicting voices on Modi’s alleged highanded style. Early this week,posters appeared outside BJP offices in Delhi and Ahmedabad in support of Joshi. Modi,sources said,rang party leaders in Delhi on Tuesday to complain that Joshi was being a “trouble maker”.

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