Solid backing from the RSS has helped him weather charges of irregularities

Having weathered the storm against his leadership, triggered by charges of irregularities in a firm headed by him, BJP president Nitin Gadkari is all set to be re-elected to the post in the last week of January.

A formal notification on holding the election to the post is likely to be issued on Saturday. Under the BJP’s constitution, at least 50 per cent of the 35 State units must complete their internal polls before the notification is issued for election of the national president. The requirement would be fulfilled once the election in the Uttarakhand State unit is completed on Saturday.

It is the solid backing from the RSS that has helped Mr. Gadkari withstand pressure from within and outside the party against his leadership. Indications are that the RSS has succeeded getting everyone in the party, particularly Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, on board in favour of a second term to Mr. Gadkari.

In the next few weeks, Mr. Gadkari is expected to induct Mr. Modi as a member of the Parliamentary Board, which finalises the party candidates for general and Assembly elections.

In addition, Mr. Modi, who wants to play a bigger role at the national level, is likely to be given charge of the BJP’s campaign committee for the 2014 general election.

There is growing clamour within the BJP that Mr. Modi should be projected as the party’s prime ministerial candidate. Given the strong reservations on his candidature from allies such as the JD (U), it would be very difficult for the party to clearly project Mr. Modi before the elections.

Clear signs that Mr. Gadkari is sure of a second term came last Friday after indications that suspension of the party MP, Ram Jethmalani, may be revoked.

Mr. Jethmalani had been in the forefront of the campaign against Mr. Gadkari.

Keywords: Nitin GadkariBJPRSS

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