|New Delhi, April 24, 2012, DHNS:
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are divided on the issue of giving a second term to the incumbent party president Nitin Gadkari.
Gadkari’s term as the youngest BJP president would come to an end by December this year but he “hopes” to get a second two-year term with the support of the RSS.
According to well placed sources, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is favouring a second-term for Gadkari but a section in the Sangh Parivar has not ruled out BJP Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the top party post.
Sources said in the recent meetings senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi also staked his claim stressing the point that he had “ a clean image” and “stature and seniority” for the post.
Poll reverses in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have given ammunition to the detractors of Gadkari, who want to make him accountable for the party’s poor poll performances.
“ It is likely that with the support of the RSS chief, Gadkari’s term may be extended,” said a party leader who is not a camp follower in the party. There are many others who also maintain this line.
The 55-year old BJP president, who succeeded Rajnath Singh in December 2009 (then 52), has chosen to act independently by appointing Sanjay Joshi, former party general secretary and an arch rival of Modi, as main coordinator for the Uttar Pradesh polls.