Business Standard

Nitin Gadkari set to become BJP president again

RSS did not approve Sushma Swaraj despite a census on her name for the post

The bitter tussle in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the election of party is likely to end in a whimper as Nitin Gadkari is expected to win the contest with active support of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which is backing his candidature.

Although senior leader LK Advani is vehemently opposed to the decision of and wanted Sushma Swaraj, in Lok Sabha, to become the new chief, Swaraj however denied contesting the election. The filing of nomination papers for the election of BJP President is scheduled to take place on January 23 and most likely Gadkari will win the election unopposed. Gadkari will be the first BJP President to win two consecutive election.

Senior leaders of BJP said that Swaraj would have agreed to become BJP chief only if RSS supported her candidature and there was consensus within the party on her name but neither RSS agreed on her name nor there was consensus within BJP. Advani had proposed that Swaraj be made BJP President and the charge of Leader of Opposition in should be given to some other senior leader of BJP but the plan didn’t work out.

Interestingly, RSS has also managed to convince Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to support Gadkari’s candidature who has agreed to end his tussle with Gadkari and back his candidature for the top post. the Gujarat chief minister was initially opposed to the decision but after the intervention of senior leaders of RSS, Modi has agreed to lend support for Gadkari.

The senior most BJP leader, LK Advani, was so opposed to Gadkari’s candidature that he wanted a politically more active person to take charge of the party. Even though RSS had agreed to consider former BJP President Rajnath Singh for the top post but Advani didn’t agree on his name.   

“RSS is not in favour of making any of the central leaders of BJP party President and instead wants someone from the states to take charge of the party,” said a senior leader of BJP. BJP leaders added that Advani has always been opposed to Gadkari as the party chief because the senior most BJP leader believes that the party should be led by a politically active person who has mass support whereas Gadkari has never contested elections.

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