In a potentially damaging pre-election bolt, RSS ideologue M.G. Vaidya has contended that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was instigating the ongoing campaign against BJP chief Nitin Gadkari.
This could be because Modi apprehends that Gadkari could cause hindrance to his (Modi's) ambitions to become prime minister, said the 87-year-old Vaidya, a former chief editor of Tarun Bharat, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh mouthpiece.
The Nagpur-based Vaidya felt the party that would get the highest number of MPs in parliament in the next 2014 elections would elect the next prime minister.
"I do not think Modi has any chance of leading the BJP in the next election," he said.
Writing in his blog in Marathi, Vaidya has argued that the roots of the campaign against Gadkari have to be in Gujarat -- when BJP MP Ram Jethmalani demanded Gadkari's resignation, he also wanted Modi to be declared as the party's prime ministerial candidate.
"L.K. Advani and Nitin Gadkari have already made it clear that they are not in the race for the prime minister. However, Modi who seems to have strong prime ministerial ambitions, has said nothing on this issue," Vaidya pointed out.
Vaidya suspected that Modi may be using Jethmalani to boost his plans (to become a prime ministerial candidate) as Gadkari could thwart his attempts to bag the top post.
Vaidya also gave an earful to Rajya Sabha MP Jethmalani for revolting publicly against Gadkari and said he should have refrained from expressing his angst against the BJP chief in the open.
The RSS ideologue advised that if any BJP leader or legislators felt that Gadkari should quit, the issue should be raised in the party forum and not in public.
Referring to the decision of Mahesh Jethmalani quitting the party's national executive, Vaidya said that if Yeshwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh and Shatrughan Sinha shared Ram Jethmalani's views, then should all resign from the BJP.