BJP vote Jan. 23; Gadkari is all set

Speculation on Nitin Gadkari’s continuance as BJP chief will end on January 23. On Sunday the party issued a notification that it will elect its next chief that day. Mr Gadkari, whose term is likely to be extended at the RSS’ insistence, is expected to file his nomination January 23. The notification said the result will be declared the same day, and if there is a contest the polling date will be announced that day.

With no consensus on any other party leader to succeed him, Mr Gadkari is expected to get a second term despite allegations of financial wrongdoing by his companies.
Sources said though BJP parliamentary party chairman L.K. Advani suggested Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj’s name as Mr Gadkari’s successor, the BJP top brass remained divided, and even Ms Swaraj herself was unwilling. Mr Advani, it is learnt, has now agreed to Mr Gadkari’s continuance. Mr Gadkari and Mr Advani are likely to share a dais on Tuesday at a function organised by a RSS think tank in Mumbai. On Monday, Mr Gadkari will attend a party function in Lucknow with Rajnath Singh where he is expected to induct former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh’s outfit in the NDA fold.

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