...As RSS plays Nitin Gadkari bluff

New Delhi: A fortnight after the Maharashtra verdict, and as many days of verbal spat between the Shiv Sena and the BJP, the RSS dropped the name of Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari as a likely replacement for Devendra Fadnavis.

The big idea, sources said, was not to unseat its blue-eyed boy, CM Fadnavis, but merely to exert pressure on him, so that he bends backwards to accommodate the Shiv Sena and address its concerns.

That, the RSS is convinced, may clear the cobwebs and ensure Sena’s participation in the government, on more equitable terms.

Fadnavis has every reason to feel worried as Gadkari too is from Nagpur and close to the RSS. Despite the bonhomie the two leaders occasionally exhibit in front of the camera, the friction between the two is an open secret.

The RSS roadmap for installing Gadkari as the new CM of the state serves another purpose: it may spook the Shiv Sena into taking a more reasonable stand.

This is because Gadkari is not too welcome in Matoshree and Sena may find him even a more difficult person to cope with than, say, Fadnavis.

The Shiv Sena has been upset with Fadnavis for his rigid stand.Earlier, on Tuesday, Fadnavis was called by the Sangh chief and they had a 90-minute-long discussion.

The RSS activated its political management to broker peace within BJP and Shiv Sena after the NCP showed its readiness to prop up a non-BJP formulation.

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