BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, Varun Gandhi, on Tuesday gave a miss to what was an important meeting called by party president, Amit Shah.
Shah’s meeting consisted of BJP MPs and Gandhi’s snub has fuelled speculation that all was not well in the saffron party.
The BJP had faced considerable embarrassment ahead of its two-day national executive meet in Allahabad over the weekend after they were greeted by posters projecting Gandhi as the party’s chief minister’s candidate for 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections.
As many as 65 of 71 BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh were present in the meeting called by Shah.
There have been reports that the BJP was contemplating action against those who designed a marketing blitz for Gandhi projecting him as a possible chief ministerial candidate for 2017 elections.
Uttar Pradesh’s BJP chief, KP Maurya said, “the party has a discipline. There is a laxman rekha which shouldn’t be breached.”
However, in a statement to NDTV, Gandhi said that he had taken Shah’s permission to skip the meet.
He also said that he had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed internal surveys, referring to ones carried out by the BJP from the ground which indicated that the Gandhi scion was one of the more popular faces among most of the leaders in the state.