New Delhi: Despite reservations by party veteran LK Advani, Nitin Gadkari is likely to be reappointed as the president of main Opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party, with a strong Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) backing. Notification for the elections has been issued and Gadkari is likely to file his nomination on January 23.
Gadkari has faced little competition within the party even though Advani had proposed Sushma Swaraj for the post of the party president. According to the sources, Advani, who had reservation about Gadkari getting a second term because of charges about dubious funding of Purti Group with which he was associated, had also suggested the name of Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The presidential decision, however, sources say, was sealed more than a week ago when RSS top brass had met Advani. However, a section in the party had reservations on Gadkari and it was even suggested that the party should elect a woman president keeping in view the present outrage and protests over safety of women in the country.
However, Gadkari emerged as the frontrunner amidst absence of consensus on any other candidate. Moreover, RSS had also managed to tilt in Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi towards Gadkari's favour.
Gadkari's renomination would also signal a shift in BJP's internal politics, with important matters in the party likely to be discussed between Nagpur and Gandhinagar as Modi appears to make a comeback soon to the powerful decision making bodies like Parliament Board and Central Election Committee.