A day after BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said she turned down an offer to become the next party chief, Venkaiah Naidu declared, “I am neither in the race nor interested to become president once again as I had been the party chief once. The party has given me that opportunity at the age of 52.”
Naidu had met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur on November 18 following which the RSS issued a statement to say it was not against four top leaders including Swaraj, Naidu, Arun Jaitely and Ananth Kumar from becoming the next party chief.
As for the next BJP chief, Naidu said, “No name was suggested or rejected by the RSS and no name has been finalised by the party so far. The process of consultation is on and there will be unanimous choice of the next president at an appropriate time.”
Backing the RSS’ claim that it never interfered in the BJP’s affairs, Naidu, who was BJP chief between 2002 and 2004, said the Sangh had not set any deadline for L.K. Advani to quit as Leader of Opposition.