AHMEDABAD: In signs of growing dissent within the BJP, hoardings supporting party leader Sanjay Joshi have come up at various places in the city, targeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the state elections scheduled in December this year.
The hoardings and posters with Joshi’s pictures say, “Chote man se koi bada nahi hota, tute man se koi bada nahi hota (nobody becomes big with a narrow mind)”.
It went on to say “kaho dil se… Sanjay Joshi phir se (Say with all your heart, Sanjay Joshi once again)”.
The hoardings apparently targeted the Gujarat Chief Minister though his name has not been written any where on them. They say that those having a narrow mind cannot become a big leader.
Modi had reportedly threatened to quit the national executive himself if Joshi was allowed to continue as its member.
The BJP central leadership had then asked Joshi to resign from the national executive following which Modi went to Mumbai to attend the event last month.
The Gujarat BJP unit has so far refused to say anything on the hoardings of Joshi.
Modi and Joshi started their political careers as comrades to put Gujarat BJP unit on a high pedestal but now they don’t see eye to eye.
Joshi came to Ahmedabad in 1988-89 from Maharashtra RSS to join the BJP here.
In 1990, Modi was the general secretary of state unit of BJP while Joshi was secretary and both worked together for about five years along with other leaders, which was the crucial phase of state BJP when the party came to power for the first time in the state with Keshubhai Patel as chief minister in 1995.
However, in 1995 itself after a revolt by then party leader Shankarsinh Vaghela, Modi was shunted out of the state and Joshi became the powerful general secretary (organization) of BJP state unit.
BJP was able to come back to power in Gujarat after a revolt by Shankarsinh Vaghela in 1998.
The enmity between the two began in 1998, when Modi wanted to return to the state but Joshi had opposed the move and did not allow him to return, sources said.
Keshubhai Patel once again became the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 1998. The rivalry of Joshi-Modi grew from that year and it became more intense when Patel was unceremoniously removed as Chief Minister and replaced by Modi in 2001.
But, the party then transferred Joshi to Delhi and gave him a powerful post of Party General Secretary (organization).
In the next few years, the clout of Joshi began to grow at the national level due to his position in the party.
However, in 2005, Joshi was forced to resign following a controversy over a CD purportedly showing him in poor light.
The CD surfaced during the silver jubilee celebrations of the party in Mumbai.-PTI