Nitin Gadkari appears set to become the next BJP President replacing Rajnath Singh in what is being projected as a generational change for the main opposition party.

Fifty-two-year-old Gadkari's name has been zeroed-in on for the top job to revive the organisation after it suffered its second successive jolt in the Lok Sabha elections, party sources said today.

"Gadkari's name is final. He has been chosen by senior leader L K Advani after consultations with his party colleagues," a senior leader said.

Another indication of Mr Gadkari's likely elevation came from reports from Mumbai which spoke of a race to occupy the post of Maharashtra BJP chief, at present being held by Mr Gadkari who has made the party the main opposition in the

state, replacing Shiv Sena.

The talk of Mr Gadkari heading the party at the national level gained momentum after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat made it clear that no one among the leaders in Delhi would be entrusted with the task. He ruled out Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar.

Mr Bhagwat is said to have named Mr Gadkari and former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar as the probable candidates for the top post while the party is maintaining that the selection has been made by Mr Advani.

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