A little over three months after taking charge as president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rajnath Singh has managed to annoy his predecessor, Nitin Gadkari, by not standing by the former party chief in his fight against corruption allegations. Although Gadkari has not officially complained to the leadership for not supporting him in his hour of need, party leaders conceded that the Maharashtra-based politician was dejected because none of the central leaders had come out in support.
Interestingly, the situation between Singh and Gadkari has soured to the extent that the former BJP chief has completely stopped his conversations with the present party president. Leaders who are close to Gadkari indicated that he does not feel the need to call any BJP leader due to lack of support.
"Gadkari believes that what is the point of a conversation when nobody is coming forward to help him? If BJP is like a big family that stands by its members, then why is no one defending him? Now BJP leaders have completely left Gadkari (in the cold)," said a BJP leader.
Gadkari could not be re-elected as party chief due to allegations of financial wrongdoings. The BJP leadership chose Singh as party president after L K Advani and other senior leaders expressed their unhappiness over allowing Gadkari to continue in office.
Another reason why Gadkari may have been let down by senior leaders is that he had defended former Gujarat home minister of state , Amit Shah, who was facing murder charges in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, and promised to induct him as BJP general-secretary.
The former BJP chief believes that not many BJP leaders had openly associated themselves with Shah when he was fighting a legal battle and was even stopped from entering Gujarat briefly.
"Shah was promised he would be brought in as BJP general-secretary if Gadkari is elected as the BJP chief for the second consecutive term. He was also promised by the then BJP chief that he would be asked to handle Uttar Pradesh for the party. Gadkari believes that he had defended Shah, but BJP leaders left Gadkari to defend himself when he needed their support," the senior BJP leader added.