According to a report published in Anandabazar Patrika on Friday, even as the Congress dragged Gadkari's close aide in Chhattisgarh Ajay Sancheti into the coal scam, the BJP chief chose to keep himself at a distance from the entire episode.
The BJP had made the scam a major weapon to corner the UPA government as its leaders felt it was a golden opportunity to gain some ground before the next Lok Sabha polls. They went on an offensive and paralysed the Parliament for almost the entire monsoon session.
The leaders even said that they would carry on with their protest on the streets after the monsoon session concluded on Friday, the report said. But amid all this, what was striking was the party chief's absence from the centre stage. Gadkari is supposed to lead the party in the next Lok Sabha polls.
Gadkari's absence has created a strong sense of disappointment in the BJP. Venting anger against Sancheti, a BJP leader said the party had to feel pressure because of an aide of the chief but Gadkari had no concern for this, the report said. It may be mentioned here that the BJP had faced a lot of heat due to Sancheti in the Adarsh scam and electing him as the Rajya Sabha MP.
The RSS, too, expressed its discontent with Gadkari's timing of a foreign tour, said the report. It said the BJP must pull up its socks now if it aimed to win back power in New Delhi. The party, RSS leaders said, did not come up with a good show in the recent assembly elections and it made it all the more important to capitalise on the anti-Congress mood.
One leader also said that if Gadkari could not take his position in the party for granted just because the tenure was increased a few months ago. A source close to Gadkari, however, said that his trip was planned quite a few months ago and it was not possible to cancel it now, the report said.