The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday played down senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader MG Vaidya's alleged remark that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was behind the dissent against Nitin Gadkari, saying the party is united under the party chief's leadership and fighting against all the conspiracies of the ruling Congress Party together
"The party is united under Nitin Gadkari's leadership. We are fighting against the Congress with all power. And the party is fighting against all the conspiracies of the Congress Party. We are united and together and working for the reconstruction of the country," said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain
"We are working together to ensure that there is an end to the rampant corruption and inflation and a good government is formed in the country," he added
Meanwhile, another BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi refused to comment on the issue, saying he was not aware of Vaidya's blog
"I have not seen any of his blogs. I don't want to comment on it," he said
Vaidya earlier said Modi is designing the dissent within the BJP over whether Gadkari should continue in office
"The roots of the campaign against Nitin Gadkari have to be in Gujarat because when Ram Jethmalani demanded Gadkari's resignation, he also demanded that Narendra Modi be made the prime ministerial candidate of the party," Vaidya wrote in his blog on Sunday
"Modi himself seems to have strong prime ministerial ambitions because LK Advani and Nitin Gadkari have already said that they are not in the race for the PM. But Narendra Modi has still not said anything on this issue," he added
Vaidya said it was important that the BJP appear united and also that "there is no need to deliberate over the PM candidate for 2014 now in 2012."
Vaidya in his blog also wrote: "Ram Jethmalani should not have expressed his displeasure against Nitin Gadkari publicly. Any BJP member or MP can feel that Nitin Gadkari should resign, but they should raise this issue on the party platform.
Earlier, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani and his son Mahesh had said Gadkari should immediately step down from his post as the charges against him were damaging the party.
He claimed to have the support of other party leaders like Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha.
"I have been in touch with Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha. We seem to be on the same wavelength. But I don't presume to predict how they are going to act today or tomorrow. But we four of us are clearly of the opinion that a resignation at this time from the party president is imminently called for," Jethmalani had said.