After leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj appeared to blame Arun Jaitley and others for the rise of mining magnates Reddy brothers in Karnataka, the party has gone into a damage-control mode.
With Sushma’s remarks on Jaitley threatening to snowball into a major row, BJP President Nitin Gadkari and former party president Rajnath Singh have stepped in to pacify the controversy.
Gadkari stated clearly, "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."
In order to solve the dispute, the Central leadership will come into action during the National review party meeting to be held in
Although Jaitley did not comment over Sushma’s remark, but party president appeared to be in damage-control mode. According to sources, Gadkari discussed the issue with the senior leaders.
Thereafter Gadkari came out with a statement which said there is "Absolutely no question of any individual or individuals influencing this process in any particular manner".
Earlier, former BJP chief Rajnath Singh said all decisions related to Karnataka, including appointment of Arun Jaitley as in-charge of the state, had his consent.
"Reports of a rift between Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley are baseless. This is true that Arun was in-charge of Karnataka. I had sent him there as I was president (of BJP) during the cabinet formation," Singh said.
Sushma, widely perceived to be close to the Reddy brothers, had in an interview to a news magazine the decision to induct Reddy brothers into the cabinet was not hers but it was BJP leaders Jaitley, Yeddyurappa, M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar who had decided.
Sushma had denied being their mentor and shifted the accountability to Jaitley, who was the state in-charge at the time, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and the then central observers from the party, Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar.