New Delhi: Amid intense pressure by a section of party leaders demanding his resignation on corruption charges, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari met senior party leader Sushma Swaraj here on Wednesday.
Gadkari, who has been under attack over the alleged dubious funding of his company by shell companies, is also meeting senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh later in the day.
The BJP earlier on Tuesday gave a clean chit to Gadkari, saying the party has full faith in the latter's leadership.
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, who read out a statement by senior party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley after a meeting of its core group here on Tuesday night, said 'the party has full faith in the leadership of Mr. Gadkari'
Prasad further said the party has also endorsed Gadkari's stand about his readiness and willingness to face a probe.
The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has, however, intervened in the Gadkari crisis of the BJP in a big way and saved the day for the beleaguered party president facing charges of corruption.
According to reports, S. Gurumurthy, who is a well-known chartered accountant and considered close to the RSS, made an exhaustive presentation on the legal implications of the allegations against Gadkari's business deals. He convinced the party leaders that there was no substance in the allegations.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of allegations of financial impropriety against Gadkari in the running of his Purti Group.
The split within the BJP, however, widened as party veteran Lal Krishna Advani skipped the meeting that was attended by the top brass of the party.
Lashing out at Gadkari over allegations of graft against him, veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani earlier on Tuesday demanded that the former should resign as the BJP President without any further delay, pending the probe into the allegations.
Jethmalani, who openly challenged Gadkari's continuance as BJP President, said top leaders within the party are of the opinion that he should resign in the wake of corruption charges levelled against the latter.
"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," he added.
Jethmalani also confirmed that he had written a letter to BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani on behalf of the party leaders highlighting the issue of corruption.