Sanjay Joshi, the former general secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who was asked to step down from the party’s National Executive, resigned on Friday. Joshi, however, has retained the primary membership of the party.
In Rajkot, posters and banners sprang up on major roads and markets criticising Modi for removal of Joshi, who had to resign at the instance of Modi ahead of party’s national executive in Mumbai in May.
Modi considers Joshi as his arch rival.
Last week, some posters were put up outside the BJP office in Delhi and Ahmedabad in support of Joshi.
The posters quoted a poem by senior BJP leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and interestingly, have the BJP symbol. But it isn’t clear yet as to who put up the posters.
Party office bearers and workers are tightlipped about resurfacing of posters in Ahmedabad and Rajkot.
However, insiders in the party said that the Modi government has instructed Gujarat police IB wing to keep a watch and track movements of party leaders and workers having allegiance to Joshi and former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, who has been attacking Modi in public functions in the state.
Narendra Modi forced me out: Sanjay Joshi
Clarifying on the move, BJP’s former general secretary Sanjay Joshi said, “I have resigned as party’s in-charge of Uttar Pradesh under tremendous pressure from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who had threatened to quit the party. I have done this in the best interest of the party.”
He also clarified that he had not resigned from party’s primary membership and also confirmed that he had asked BJP chief Nitin Gadkari to relive him from all his responsibilities.
Earlier BJP sources also claimed that Joshi had requested BJP president Nitin Gadkari to relieve him from the party and his request has been accepted.
No official confirmation has been made by the party in this regard as yet.
Joshi voluntarily quit the BJP national executive ahead of its meeting in Mumbai last month owing to incorrigible differences with the firebrand Gujarat Chief Minister.
Acceptance of Joshi’s resignation was then seen as an effort by the party president to buy peace with Narendra Modi.