Being the opposition party at the state and the centre, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should have been going to town about the allegations of corruption against the Congress. However, for almost a month now, the party has kept a low profile.
All this, because of the corruption charges against party president Nitin Gadkari. While Gopinath Munde cancelled his rally scheduled post-Dusshera, the special cell meant to expose corruption headed by Kirit Somaiya too has kept silent.
According to a senior party leader, this is the longest period that the state’s BJP leaders have kept a low profile. “Earlier, there would not be a single week in which a BJP leader would not speak to the press. Party leaders have been avoiding the media, so that no one is asked uncomfortable questions about Gadkari,” he said.
Last Monday, the BJP’s city unit’s meeting at Dadar was a low-profile event. On the same day, Gadkari created another storm by comparing the IQ level of Swami Vivekanand to Dawood. This led to his own partymen — especially Ram and Mahesh Jethmalani — expressing anger towards him.
There is speculation that people within the party are fuelling controversies against Gadkari.
However, senior state leaders claim that Gadkari will remain the party president, at least until his tenure ends.
A senior leader said on condition of anonymity that the Sangh Parivar continues to back Gadkari. “For the Sangh, withdrawing their support would mean admitting to a mistake,” said the leader.
A Tuesday event where Gadkari was scheduled to speak at the Indian Merchants Chamber, got canned.
Even the annual Diwali Sneh Milan at the party’s Nariman Point office was a low-key affair with both Gadkari and Munde being conspicuous by their absence.
Meanwhile, the BJP leaders, otherwise armed with lists of corruption cases against members of other parties, are afraid to face the media, worried the the act may backfire.