Saturday, November 14, 2009


13 Nov 2009


From Our Bureau

NEW DELHI: Maharashtra BJP president Nitin Gadkari had the first taste of the media management by Delhi leaders, with reports in both print and electronic media linking up his visit to the BJP headquarters here on Thursday with staking claim to succeed Rajnath Singh as the new national BJP president.

In the presence of a group of Media persons who drop in the headquarters at 3 pm daily for regular or informal briefings, an aide of a top BJP leader called up Gadkari on his mobile to know when he is coming to the party office and told him that General Secretary (Organisation) Ramlal was in the office.

Tipping off the media thus, the aide vanished from the headquarters even as Gadkari drove in. He told all that he was there only to give a report to the general secretary on the Maharashtra Assembly elections and that he was not here to explore his chances to become the party president.

He even insisted that he was not aware of any move so far to make him President but he was a foot soldier of the party and would take up whatever responsibility is given. He said he had never been in any race when asked if he tops those in the race for the post.

Nobody from the media department of the party, forget the spokesmen, was available either on Thursday or Friday to comment on Gadkari's visit to Delhi on the heels of the media speculation about he being the front-runner as a candidate of RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat. A functionary available in the headquarters said he can only say that no final decision has been taken as yet.

Gadkari's brief interaction with the Media waiting for him to come out of the general secretary's chamber was enough to show him arriving in the capital to have a grip of the new responsibility he was to be bestowed as the BJP President in January.

Little did he know the intrigues played by the party leaders in the headquarters to plant stories against each others in the media even at the cost of such manipulations hurting the party's interests.

All four senior party leaders who were ruled out by the RSS chief to become the new BJP President are already unhappy and have already met the BJP's veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani to express their anguish.

It suits each one of them to show Gadkari throwing his hat in the race as such act in not liked in the RSS as also in the BJP that believes in selection of the leader instead of someone trying to stake the claim.

The 52-year old Gadkari is certainly in the reckoning but his prospects are set to be dimmed if he is seen as entering the so-called race. All reports speculating on his name also refer to poor show of the party in the Assembly elections putting a question mark on him to lead the party at the national level when he failed at the state level. That shows someone from within the party in Delhi briefing the gullible reporters.

The RSS sources, in the meanwhile, clarified that Bhagwat had not named the four Delhi-based leaders as not being considered for the party president's post. The names were dropped by Prabhu Chawla of India Today in the course of the interview and the RSS chief just said none of them was being considered by the party, the sources said.

They added that at no time the RSS chief has spoken about recommending the name of Nitin Gadkari and as such it is all speculation of the Media trying to guess who can be the new president who qualifies to be in his 50s and who can run the party on the RSS lines.



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