Is RSS distancing itself from BJP President Gadkari?

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Chennai, Nov 2: It seems Nitin Gadkari's second-term as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President is under threat. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), BJP's parent body, is distancing itself from Gadkari after allegations of corruption against Gadkari surfaced in the open.

At the three-day executive council meet of RSS underway in Chennai on Friday, Nov 2, RSS leaders decided that allegations of graft must be investigated under the due process of law and those found guilty should be punished accordingly.

Earlier, RSS had maintained silence on corruption allegations against Gadkari. Political observers expressed confusion as whether RSS's silence could be read as support to Gadkari or its antagonism against the senior BJP leader.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat refused to comment on charges against BJP president, calling it as BJP's internal matter.

However, Bhagwat hit out at the Congress-led UPA government as several of its top leaders have been accused of corruption charges. Moreover, Bhagwat also said RSS backed activists are fighting for a corruption free India. 

India Against Corruption (IAC) member Prashant Bhushan has demanded that Gadkari be charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act for misusing his office as a PWD Minister to favour a company that gave him a loan of Rs 164 crore.

"Gadkari took a loan of 164 Rs crore from a company to whom he had given various benefits as a PWD Minister of Maharashtra. Therefore, under the prevention of corruption act, if a public servant receives any kind of gratification for himself or any other person from a company with whom he has official dealings as a public servant than that amounts to corruption under prevention of corruption act," said Bhushan.

Earlier, Congress had called Gadkari a fraud and demanded an impartial probe against him. Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday, Oct 23 submitted proof of Gadkari's links with Purti Power to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded that the Opposition party leader be probed on fraud charges.

Many of Gadkari's own party members are not happy that he is still holding the top post. Senior BJP leader and advocate Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday had asked Gadkari to quit from the post of BJP President.

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