Renewed efforts are being made to get the former general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Sanjay Joshi, back into the party fold, especially in view of the coming Assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh.
Party sources indicated that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat has given the green signal for Mr. Joshi’s induction to BJP president Nitin Gadkari. The main obstacle is the expected opposition from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The two have always been in opposite camps in the BJP’s Gujarat unit — the political enmity pre-dating Mr. Modi’s rise as Chief Minister.
Mr. Joshi was forced to resign after a sexually explicit compact disc supposedly featuring him was circulated. There is a view that while Mr. Joshi was thrown out of the party, those suspected to be behind the making of the CDs continued as “big leaders.” There are no two views in the party that the CDs were manufactured at the behest of a party leader. It was not an outside job. There are many party leaders who feel Mr. Joshi was “framed” in that sordid episode and should be rehabilitated.
If taken back, Mr. Joshi is expected to be deployed specifically in U.P. and, therefore, Mr. Modi should have no reason to oppose his re-entry. Apparently, there are not many in the party who know the party machine in the State as well as Mr. Joshi does as he has reportedly remained in touch with a large number of BJP workers and RSS volunteers. The view is that since many State leaders will be busy contesting elections themselves, there is a dire need of an “organisation man” and Mr. Joshi fits the bill.
Said one party leader: “This should happen before the start of the monsoon session of Parliament to give the party in U.P. the best possible chance to plan its strategy. Once Parliament starts, the top leadership will be fully engaged in the day-to-day political battles in Parliament and a whole month will be lost.”
Mr. Gadkari has not yet decided who should be given overall charge of the election in U.P. Clearly, there will have to be some degree of coordination between the person-in-charge and Mr. Joshi, if he is taken back and asked to work in the State. Hindu