The RSS has reached out to BJP patriarch LK Advani in a purported effort to build a consensus for the re-election of party president Nitin Gadkari.
This happens just before the expected issuance of the notification for the party’s presidential election on Sunday, an event that is expected to further cement party president Nitin Gadkari’s candidature for the post.
Advani has been pushing for the candidature of Sushma Swaraj for the top organisational post as a possible replacement for Gadkari, the RSS’ unequivocal choice for the post.
A section of the party agrees with the BJP patriarch’s reading that the charges of business irregularities against Gadkari can damage the BJP’s campaign in the next Lok Sabha polls.
But a BJP leader said: “There will be just one nomination, as is the party’s tradition.” The message: Gadkari is clearly the frontrunner for the top post.
With Advani reportedly sticking to his anti-Gadkari stance, RSS general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi reportedly tried convincing him to support the beleaguered BJP chief.
Swaraj, Advani’s choice, is also reportedly not inclined to occupy the party president’s post.
The reason: She is content with the post of leader of opposition in Lok Sabha and would not want to antagonise the Sangh before the general elections.
A leader close to Swaraj said Gadkari is going to be the next BJP chief.
Another name doing the rounds for the top post is that of Rajnath Singh, the party’s former president. But Singh isn’t the Sangh’s first choice, which has made Gadkari’s re-elevation a prestige issue.
Sangh functionaries see the issue of Gadkari’s re-election as settled.
A BJP leader said that Advani’s continued opposition may, in fact, mark the eclipse of Hindutva’s greatest icon’s presence over the saffron party.