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Why Swaraj, Modi refused to campaign in Punjab, U'khand

Last updated on: January 24, 2012 00:47 IST

Why Swaraj, Modi refused to campaign in Punjab, U'khand

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

Senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Narendra Modi are sulking because they have a grouse against party president Nitin Gadkari, reports Sheela Bhatt.

Sushma Swaraj and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, two senior-most leaders of Bhartiya Janta Party, have refused to campaign for the party in Punjab and Uttarakhand, so far.

In the BJP constituencies both are popular and very much in demand. It is to be noted here that both Punjab and Uttarakhand go to polls on January 30, and the campaigning in both the states should end at the end of this week.

According to a senior source in the party, "Both the leaders are sulking because they have grouse against party president Nitin Gadkari."

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Image: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has expressed her inability to campaign citing some health issues


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Modi's protest hurting Gadkari's standing

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Swaraj has expressed her inability to campaign citing to some health issue. On the other hand, Modi is upset with Gadkari for re-inducting his bete noire Sanjay Joshi.

Gadkari seems to have miscalculated his move to send Joshi to Uttar Pradesh. Modi's protest is sharp and hurting Gadkari's standing within the core group of BJP. Modi and Gadkari are not on talking terms since the last few months.

Except Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Gadkari has few friends left in BJP's top leadership. 


Image: Modi and Gadkari are not on talking terms since the last few months
Photographs: Reuters

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'Gadkari increasingly feeling isolated'

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"There is huge demand for Modi and Swaraj from the BJP's district leadership and cadres of Punjab and Uttarakhand, but both have not gone to the election battlefield," says a leader close to BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Gadkari's recent comments on a TV channel on Modi are being seen as his overture to sulking Modi. He has told in an interview to Headlines Today that, "I will never be a candidate for PM nor will I topple anybody. Modi has good potential to be BJP president and PM."

Gadkari has invested much in the upcoming assembly elections. He wants to patch up with Modi because he is, increasingly, feeling isolated, said the source in the party.


Image: BJP president Nitin Gadkari
Photographs: Reuters

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