Sanjay Joshi quits from BJP National Executive

Mumbai: BJP leader Sanjay Joshi, bete noire of the Gujarat Chief Minister, today resigned ahead of the party National Executive meeting beginning here, a move seen as an effort by the party president to buy peace with Narendra Modi.

"Joshi, who was invitee member of the National Executive, has in a letter to party president Nitin Gadkari said that he is relinquishing his post in the larger interest of the party," BJP sources said hours before the inauguration of the two day conclave.

The move by Gadkari is significant as the shadow of Modi could have hung over the conclave as speculation had mounted over the Gujarat strongman`s absence amid no official word from Gandhinagar.

Modi had also not attended the last meeting of the National Executive held in Delhi in December apparently peeved over the induction of Joshi into Uttar Pradesh election campaign by Gadkari. He had also not campaigned in the UP polls.

As per official programme, Modi will be in Udaipur in Rajasthan today to attend the birth centenary celebrations of Maharana Pratap and will be returning to Ahmedabad. As per his associates in Gandhinagar, Modi could make it to Mumbai tomorrow in view of the development.

The Executive meeting is significant as it would be the first major gathering of the BJP top brass ahead of the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the two party-ruled states, scheduled by the year-end.