Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s absence from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) State executive meeting, which was attended by the party’s working president, J.P. Nadda, raised eyebrows.
Sources close to Mr. Gadkari said he had a programme to attend in Nagpur, which could not be cancelled, and the party was informed about his inability to attend the meeting in Mumbai.
Along with Mr. Gadkari, Women and Child Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde was not present as she is out of the country for personal reasons. Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar was absent in the first session of the meeting since he was said to be unwell, but eventually turned up in the second session.
Mr. Gadkari’s absence from the State executive meeting, and that too on the occasion of Mr. Nadda’s first visit after taking charge as the working president, has brewed rumours of possible infighting between the camps of Mr. Fadnavis and Mr. Gadkari, both from Nagpur.
However, sources in the BJP rubbished the rumours. “Reasons have been given. There is no base for such speculation,” a BJP leader said.