New Delhi: Rajnath Singh on Monday appeared to
be not averse to quitting as BJP president if there is an
early consensus on his successor.
Amid talk of the RSS backing Maharashtra BJP chief Nitin
Gadkari, Singh, whose tenure ends on December 31, made it
clear that his term is virtually over and would like an early
decision on the succession issue.
"In a way, my term as president has come to an end. At the
right time, I will hand over the reins to the new president to
bring in a change of responsibility," Singh told a news agency.
When asked whether he had set a deadline to quit as party
president, Singh said, "I have not decided the date as yet."
However, Singh said he would abide by any consensus
arrived at by the party on the issue.
Singh said he wanted the ongoing organisational elections
in the state units of the party to be completed soon.
"I want that the organisational elections be completed
at the earliest and there should be no undue delay."
The new president can be elected only when polls to 50
per cent of the state units are completed. As of now, this
seems unlikely before December 31.
Sources close to Singh said in case the process runs
into February or March, the BJP chief is unlikely to wait that
long. Singh was elected as party president on November 26,
2006 and may treat that as the deadline.
There is media speculation that once Singh quits there may
be pressure on top BJP leader L K Advani quitting as Leader of
the Opposition in the Lok Sabha to be in line with the
generational change being ushered in the BJP.