BUT THERE is a parallel story to this. According to a very senior source in the RSS close to supremo Mohan Bhagwat, Gadkari enjoys the support of the top three of the Sangh hierarchy — Bhagwat, Bhaiyyaji Joshi and MG Vaidya — while Modi had earned their displeasure, with his flamboyant Sadbhavana Yatra, his autocratic style of functioning and his power games with his bête noire Sanjay Joshi. The troika’s diktat was that if Modi wanted to work towards the top job, he would have to take Gadkari along. This was becoming increasingly unacceptable to Modi.
Insiders believe that Gurumurthy saw this as a chance to work himself back into the good books of the Sangh by offering his services as a mediator between Modi and Gadkari. In turn, probably foreseeing that he would be seen as the stoker of Gadkari’s troubles — which is precisely what Vaidya accused him of this week — Modi too thought the best way out for him was to get Gurumurthy to mediate. Even if it meant risking his rapport with friend Arun Jaitley. (Political circles have been abuzz with theories that it was Jaitley who first helped rake up trouble for Gadkari over his relationship with businessman-MP Ajay Sancheti and Anshuman Mishra.)
Given Gurumurthy’s proximity to Modi, the obvious question then is: why is he trying to clear things for Gadkari?
In a complicated situation like this, Gurumurthy was perhaps the best bet for both Modi and the Parivar, who want to see the Gadkari-Modi combo salvaged till the Gujarat poll. The idea was to help Modi make inroads back into the Parivar. On the face of it, it would appear this is the narrow purpose in mind with which Gurumurthy took it upon himself to enter the picture on the Gadkari case.
But as one BJP insider said of the Modi-Gurumurthy partnership, “When two of the most canny and opportunistic people in the Parivar are concerned, it will always remain unclear who is using whom.”
Rana Ayyub is an Assistant Editor with Tehelka.