Sushma Vs Jaitley: BJP chief Gadkari joins in
With her remarks on Arun Jaitley regarding Reddy brothers threatening to snowball into a major row, Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari on Saturday stepped in to virtually snub BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, saying any debate on the choice of ministers in Karnataka in the media is "totally unnecessary".
Gadkari came out with a statement on Saturday evening after former party president Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa claimed responsibility for inducting the controversial Reddy brothers into the state cabinet, a distance from which Swaraj had distanced herself.
Swaraj, widely perceived to be close to the Reddy brothers, had in an interview on Friday said it was BJP leaders Jaitley, Yeddyurappa, M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar who had decided to induct Janardhan and Karunakar Reddy into the cabinet.
Image: BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj
'Any debate is totally unnecessary'
The remarks, which brought to fore the differences in the second generation leadership in the party, forced Rajnath Singh and Yeddyurappa to claim responsibility for the induction of the mining magnates.
While Swaraj and Jaitley kept mum on the issue, Gadkari came out with a sharp statement, saying there is "absolutely no question of any individual or individuals influencing this process in any particular manner".
"Any debate about the choice of ministers in the Karnataka government at this stage in the media is totally unnecessary," Gadkari said.
Image: A file photo of BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and senior leader L K Advani
'BJP is a democratic party'
This is the second time that Gadkari appeared to openly snub Swaraj for her public statements.
Gadkari had earlier differed with her when she said she was satisfied with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on the controversy surrounding the appointment of P J Thomas as the central vigilance commissioner and the matter should be closed.
In today's statement, Gadkari said the BJP is a democratic party and it always follows the democratic procedure of government-formation in states.
Image: The Reddy brothers
'Ministers are the unanimous choice of the party'
"The party leader is elected by the BJP legislature party in the presence of a team of central observers. The chief minister, in exercise of his constitutional prerogative, forms his cabinet in consultation with the party's central and state leadership," Gadkari said.
He maintained that this practice was followed in Karnataka as well.
"It is the considered position of BJP that all our cabinet ministers in the Karnataka government are the unanimous choice of the party, both central as well as the state, and are equally capable and committed to providing good governance to the people of Karnataka," Gadkari said.
Image: Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa