Consensus emerges on Gadkari's second term as BJP president
New Delhi: With RSS backing him, a consensus seems to have emerged on giving a second term to Nitin Gadkari as BJP president for which elections will be held on January 23.
Senior leader LK Advani, who had reservations in Gadkari getting another term, has finally agreed to it as no consensus could be arrived at on any other candidate, party sources said on Sunday.
Till last week, there was an exercise between Advani's camp and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) to arrive at a consensus candidate.
Advani's reservation about Gadkari getting a second term was due to charges of dubious funding of Purti Group with which he was associated. Advani had earlier suggested the name of Ravi Shankar Prasad for the top post.
Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj's name had also figured in the discussion, but she herself has not shown much keenness on occupying the post.
While Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's name was also doing the rounds, party leaders ruled out the possibility saying he does not figure in Advani's list of probables.
Modi himself is not interested in becoming party president though he could play a key role in the election management for BJP at the central level for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, they said.
RSS has been pitching for a second term for Gadkari with Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat himself backing him. It feels Gadkari, who took over soon after the BJP's second consecutive Lok Sabha poll defeat, should lead the party in the next elections.
The task he had undertaken three years back is still yet to be completed, it felt.
The BJP today issued a notification for its Presidential election. Nomination papers for the top post will be filed on January 23 from 10 AM to 11.30 AM and scrutiny will be held from 11.30 AM to 12 noon.
A date for election will be declared if required after the withdrawal of nomination between 12 to 12.30 pm, a BJP statement said.
In the absence of any contest, the elected candidate will be declared at 12.30 pm on January 23.
The party parried questions over the reported internal squabbling for giving a second term to Gadkari.
Asked whether Advani has proposed the name of Swaraj for the president's post, BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "We don't have a dynasty but a democracy and there should not be any confusion over it. We have an internal democracy and constitution in the party.
According to that we conduct elections from regional to national level and that election process is on."
About other names also being floated for the contest, he said, "You will be told about it and the nominations also.
Nothing will be done in a clandestine manner."
Gadkari side-stepped questions on BJP presidential aspirants. "I have never ever bothered whether I get the post of party president or not. I will always continue working as a grassroot worker of the BJP," said.