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Rajnath will have to wait for now

The BJP president, managing the show on ad hoc basis, will appoint his team after Dec polls, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 22:26 IST

BJP president Rajnath Singh’s election for a full three-year term is likely to be completed by mid-December, a delay of almost a month because of the tedious election process in state units.

A core group of BJP leaders discussed the progress of organisational elections at former PM AB Vajpayee’s residence in the capital on Wednesday.

The BJP constitution says at least half of the state units must have elected their heads before the national chief is chosen by an electoral college of state chiefs and other members of working panels.

So far, ten BJP units have elected their heads. Another ten units will do so by November 15. The process for Rajnath getting a full-year three term to will start thereafter. “The election of the BJP president will be completed in December,” said a senior BJP functionary.

Though no BJP leader has had any doubt about Rajnath’s election, his supporters are keen that his election is behind their backs when the party faces its worst test --- the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the home state of Rajnath.

To an extent possible, senior BJP leaders are avoiding acrimonious contests at state level, going by what the RSS calls a "consensus" approach.

Rajnath was appointed BJP president in January this year to fill up the vacancy caused by LK Advani’s exit following the row over the latter’s remark on Jinnah.

Advani became BJP chief when Venkaiah Naidu, who was electedfor three years in February 2004, quit following the BJP’s poor showing in the Lok Sabha polls that year.

Advani, who was succeeded by Rajnath, were supposed to be serving the three year term that was given to Venkaiah. Hence, fresh elections next month.

Rajnath’s term of three years is supposed to begin soon after the organisational polls are concluded in December.

That’s time, BJP leaders say, Rajnath will come into his "full form", appointing a team that will be “truly his.” Till then, he is said to be managing the show on ad hoc basis.

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First Published: Nov 01, 2006 22:18 IST