Amit Shah set to be elected BJP president as he completes term

  • IANS, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 20, 2016 01:36 IST
BJP president Amit Shah addresses media persons at his residence in New Delhi. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

BJP president Amit Shah is all set to get a full term as the president of the party on January 23, the day he completes the remainder of the Rajnath Singh’s term, who had demitted the post after joining the Union cabinet.

Despite the apparent reservations by BJP veterans like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar, the RSS found no better choice than Shah after home minister Rajnath Singh and union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari declined further terms as head of the ruling party, informed sources told IANS.

“The election of presidents in 19 states has been completed, which was the minimum requirement to complete the quorum of president’s election. We are planning to hold president’s election on January 23 and have kept January 27 as reserve day if necessary,” a BJP leader said on the condition of anonymity.

The notification for the election of the president is scheduled to be announced by the returning officer, party MP Avinash Rai Khanna. However, he refused to divulge any details.

“I will reach Delhi by tomorrow (Wednesday) and then will be in a condition to say anything on president’s election,” Khanna told IANS.

If Shah gets elected as the new BJP president, this will be his first full term as he is currently completing Rajnath Singh’s term.

Sources told IANS that even the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh was not in favour of Shah but was left with no better choice, especially after Rajnath Singh and Gadkari’s refusal.

In 2016, assembly elections are scheduled in the states of Pudduchery, Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Assam, the last being the only state where the BJP has some hope.

Sources said that due to these state elections where the chances of the BJP winning were minimal, Rajnath Singh and Gadkari refused to accept the proposal to head the party and this was the reason the RSS went ahead with Shah, thinking his “aggression” could do something extraordinary for the party.

Sources also said that Shah, who is considered to be a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wanted a free hand in selecting his new team as he felt that his present team was young but not aggressive as he desired.

According to RSS sources, present general secretary, organisation, Ram Lal, is unlikely to find a place in the new team. He took over after incumbent Sanjay Joshi was forced to resign from the post after a CD controversy.

The RSS is considering three names as Ram Lal’s replacement. They are said to be V Satish, Shiv Prakash and BL Santosh.

Satish is said to be close to Amit Shah, who has worked with him in Gujrat.

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