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BJP amends constitution to let Gadkari get second term

The crucial decision also means that Gadkari will lead the BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections

Gyan Verma  |  New Delhi 

The writ of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was followed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) when the main opposition party amended its constitution to allow party President to get a second consecutive term.

This is the first time that a President will second consecutive term. Apart from the RSS, none of the senior leaders of the party were in favour of allowing Gadkari to get a second term but their views were not appreciated by the RSS leadership which wanted Gadkari to get a second term. The decision to amend the constitution will now allow Gakari to remain President for second consecutive three-year period till December 2015.

The crucial decision also means that Gadkari will lead the in 2014 although there is a view in the party and campaign committee for Lok Sabha election should be headed by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi who will be able to mobilize voters and enthuse the party cadre.     

In the course of the national council meeting in Surajkund on Friday, senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh moved the resolution to amend Article 21 of BJP’s constitution which was seconded by M Venkaiah Naidu, the former BJP President. Members of the national council approved the resolution unanimously. The amendment was passed by the BJP at its national executive in Mumbai in May this year and it was decided that national council meeting will be organised to ratify it.

While the amendment was being ratified by the members of the national executive, Naidu elaborated that the passage of resolution doesn’t mean that the incumbent automatically gets a second term but it is only an enabling provision.

This is the first time that BJP will allow any of its leaders to hold the post for two consecutive terms. Although most of the senior leaders of the party, including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, are not in favour of the move but the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is adamant to give Gadkari a second term.

A section within the party is not pleased with the development because they feel that constitution of political party must not be changed for the benefit of one individual and it should be a unanimous decision taken by the organisation.

This is the second time that BJP’s constitution has been changed. The first instance is of 2006 when RSS wanted Rajnath Singh to continue in office for three years. The debate to allow second term for BJP President had started in 2006. Before Rajnath Singh took over from LK Advani as BJP President, the top post had a term for just two years. But LK Advani was asked to resign from the post because of his Pakistan visit and the statements he made, so Rajnath Singh was asked to take charge for the remaining one year and later made BJP President in January 2006.

First Published: Fri, September 28 2012. 15:02 IST