Murmurs grew louder in the Bharatiya Janata Party about the continuance of Nitin Gadkari as party president as RSS virtually washed its hands of him, saying any individual or organisation indulging in illegal activity must be subjected to impartial probe.
With the party facing increasing flak over the affairs of Gadkari's company, BJP top brass met on Friday night at his residence to discuss all the controversies and his continuance in the post against that background.
Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley and party general secretaries were present at the meeting where Gadkari gave his version on the controversy over the alleged dubious funding of the Purti Group run by him.
Gadkari has decided not to give up without a fight and is reportedly trying to convince his party leaders that he is innocent, sources said.
But there is a growing feeling in the party that though he has offered to face a probe, there are a number of questions that have arisen over the affairs in the company.
BJP leaders feel the issue here is not just about violation of business and company laws but the growing perception that the allegation that shell companies with dubious antecedents were investors in his company raise questions of propriety and morality.
Gadkari's worries grew today when RSS Sarkaryavah Bhaiyyaji Joshi issuing a statement, saying allegations about certain irregularities in the corporate affairs of some political leaders have caused a lot of consternation in the general public.
"In fact, it has been an article of faith with RSS that any individual or organisation indulging in any illegal activity must be subjected to an impartial probe and those found guilty should be punished," Joshi said, adding RSS has nothing to do with these allegations.
This has fuelled speculation whether Gadkari, who had the backing of RSS to become the BJP President in 2009, still continues to enjoy its protection.
One issue that is holding the party leadership from taking a drastic course is the impending assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
However, sources say the whole controversy could have dented Gadkari's chances of getting a second term as party President, for which the party constitution has already been amended.