Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari on Thursday declined to say if the party will press for a change in Jharkhand chief ministership. “I would say, wait and watch,” he said.
At a press conference here, he said, “I will be going to Jharkhand tomorrow [Friday] and will meet all those related to the issue.”
The BJP would take all steps to ensure that the Congress did not benefit from the impasse in the State. “We will ensure that the Congress does not benefit from the Jharkhand situation by breaking smaller parties with money and muscle power,” he said.
Jharkhand plunged into a political crisis after Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Shibu Soren voted in favour of the United Progressive Alliance government on a cut motion moved by the BJP in the Lok Sabha on April 27. A day after the cut motion, the BJP's parliamentary board decided to withdraw the party's support to the Soren-led government, only to later put its decision on hold and instead ask Mr. Soren to quit and mobilise the JMM's support in favour of the BJP.
Mr. Gadkari said the BJP would launch a nationwide agitation on May 12 against “the misuse of the CBI by the United Progressive alliance (UPA) government to blackmail and threaten Opposition leaders.”
“BJP workers will protest outside the CBI offices in all State capitals against the large-scale misuse. We demand this misuse be stopped immediately. We will also raise this issue in the Parliament,” he said.
He, however, declined to comment when asked to respond to the action taken against media portal Tehelka.com when the National Democratic Alliance was in power. “I cannot say anything about that now. But all I can say is there was no misuse of the CBI during the NDA regime,” he said.
He also accused the CBI of specifically harassing the Gujarat government and its police officers over the issue of fake shoot-outs.
The CBI was also used to pressure vulnerable Opposition leaders, particularly those belonging to the BJP, SP and the RJD and harassing those Opposition leaders who were not vulnerable to government pressure, he alleged.
He said he had worked out a strategy to enhance the party's vote bank by 10 per cent till the next Lok Sabha elections in 2014 by reaching out to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, minorities and unorganised labour in a big way. The party would set up a “think tank” to work on the strategy.
Mr. Gadkari is on a two-day visit to Goa.