Hectic consultations were on among the top BJP leaders in the wake of a demand for the resignation of party President Nitin Gadkari as its Core Group is likely to meet on Tuesday evening to declare support for him again.
Mr. Gadkari, who has been under attack over the alleged dubious funding of his company by shell companies, on Tuesday met party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley at their residences and discussed the situation in the wake of mounting pressure on him.
The meetings came even as party MP Ram Jethmalani mounted fresh pressure with a demand for Mr. Gadkari’s immediate resignation following allegations against him. He claimed the support of three leaders —— Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha — for his line of thinking.
Ms. Swaraj, however, tweeted her support to Mr. Gadkari. “The media reports that I am not supporting Shri Nitin Gadkari are absolutely false. I have always supported him and I reiterate my support,” she said in her tweet.
Other party leaders including General Secretary Dharmendra Pradhan, Secretary in charge of Gujarat, Balbir Punj, Organisation Secretary Ram Lal and Murlidhar Rao, considered close to RSS, were present at Ms. Swaraj’s residence when the matter was discussed.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Gadkari met Mr. Jaitley at his residence.
The core group meeting at Mr. Gadkari’s residence is likely to be attended by senior leaders L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi, Swaraj and Jaitley.
Sources said the view in the party is that it would not be advisable for Mr. Gadkari to quit in the midst of an electoral battle in Gujarat. However, the issue of a second term for Mr. Gadkari, for which the BJP constitution was amended recently, may still be open in the current atmosphere, they said.
Only a fortnight ago, the core group had come out with its backing ruling out his resignation following demands in the wake of allegations against him.