Terming Sanjay Joshi's decision to quit the Bharatiya Janata Party as "personal", the party's Gujarat unit on Saturday said his exit will not have a negative impact on its prospects in the assembly polls slated by the year-end.
"Joshi's place of work has been in Delhi and in the last assembly election, he was not in Gujarat but still the BJP secured absolute majority. His resignation will not have any negative impact (on the BJP's chances) in the assembly elections," party spokesperson Vijay Rupani said.
The former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak, who was a general secretary of BJP, resigned on Friday from the party. It is widely believed that Chief Minister Narendra Modi forced the BJP leadership to secure the resignation of his bete noire.
Asked if Joshi had to resign due to Modi's pressure on the party leadership, Rupani replied in the negative.
"The party is not under anyone's pressure. His resignation is a personal decision," she said.
Meanwhile, a two-day BJP state executive meeting began in Ahmedabad amidst dissidence and internal bickering in the Gujarat BJP.
Joshi, who resigned from the BJP's National Executive last month, had worked in the state unit for almost 10 years and was known for his good rapport with grassroots workers.
The state unit is facing dissidence from former chief minister Keshubhai Patel and his supporters, who have openly criticised the Modi government in the run-up to the polls.
Responding to a question on Patel, Rupani said, "Keshubhai is our senior-most leader in the state and he had worked hard to establish the party in Gujarat."
"Keshubhai has been invited for the meeting. Now it is up to him to attend it or not," he said, when asked whether Modi's predecessor will take part in the conclave.
Asked whether the BJP would take any action against the dissidents, Rupani declined to comment.
To a query about Modi's chances of becoming the prime minister, Rupani said people wanted the BJP leader to occupy the top post, but a final decision on the prime ministerial candidate would be taken by the party at the time of general elections.