Gadkari meets Advani; sushma says Modi remarks misreported

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Old 29-Oct-2010
Gadkari meets Advani; sushma says Modi remarks misreported

New Delhi October 29:

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadakri met senior leader L.K. Advani amid efforts in the party to resolve the controversy triggered by the remarks of Sushma Swaraj on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Swaraj, in Patna, also sought to clear the air about her remarks on Modi saying she had been misreported. "I have all regards for Modi bhai. There are no problems with him," Swaraj told reporters here. She said the media had misreported her remarks on the performance of Modi and his absence from campaign in the ongoing Bihar polls.

"There are no differences between Narendra bhai and me. The good thing about him is that he doesn't pay attention to media reports," she said. She claimed that since the BJP was strongly raising the issue of corruption in the Commonwealth Games, some elements were trying to divert attention. Swaraj also indicated that words attributed to her had been planted in the media.

The media had earlier this week quoted Swaraj as saying in Patna: "Modi's magic has worked well in Gujarat. It does not mean that every magic would work at every place, nor is it necessary." "In Bihar the magic of (Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar and (Deputy Chief Minister) Sushil Modi is working well," she had said. Gadkari's meeting with Advani comes amid efforts by the party leadership not to allow the issue to simmer.

Swaraj's reported remarks were followed by an advertisement in some national dailies by a legislator from Karnataka extolling BJP's victory in panchayat polls in Gujarat and urging Narendra Modi to come to New Delhi to give the country a firm direction. The BJP sought to allay any apprehensions at its official press conference Wednesday by referring to Modi's influence in the party's performance in local body elections in the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Sources said Gadkari was keen to keep matters under control and had conveyed to the leaders that the larger interest of the party has to be kept in mind in all their utterances. "It's much ado about nothing," a party leader who met Gadkari told reporters. Officially, the BJP refused to comment on the issue. "You heard what Sushmaji said...Nothing more to say. There is no issue at all in the first place," party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

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