Nitin Gadkari could take over as the next BJP president as early as next month. With the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent body of the BJP, succeeding in pushing his name for the post, the Sangh does not want to delay the takeover at the top.
Accepting the Sangh’s fiat, BJP leaders, too, would not object to the 52-year-old Gadkari taking the post as early as possible.
The BJP leaders have already accepted his name, though after conveying to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat their misgivings about the choice.
Gadkari is the head of the Maharashtra unit of the BJP.
According to a month-long schedule announced by the BJP, the process of electing president would have begun only on December 15. Under its statute, the new president can be elected only after polls to 50 per cent of the state units are complete.
BJP officials said they would not wait for the poll process to get over by December or January 31, which could delay Gadkari’s taking charge.
A senior BJP functionary said, “Why the delay in his taking charge when his name has been finalized.”
Gadkari’s name could be endorsed by the party highest body, the parliamentary board, and his appointment formally announced next month.
After that, a meeting of the party’s national executive and national council is likely to complete his election as BJP chief for three years. That could happen in January or February.
Sensing the mood of the RSS and BJP leaders, party president Rajnath Singh has indicated he doesn’t mind stepping down early. However, some sources said he was told by the RSS brass to prepare the ground for Gadkari’s takeover as early as possible to “arrest the mood of drift in the party”.
Rajnath’s aides had earlier said his term would end only in January.
On Tuesday, Singh said, “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.”
“I have not decided the date as yet,” he added.