By January-end, he would have not just won his own battle within the BJP but would also become the first BJP president to get a second consecutive term as party chief. With the RSS and BJP top leadership agreeing to throw their weight behind Nitin Gadkari, the decks are now clear for him to get a repeat three-year term after he was first appointed party president in December 2009. Highly-placed sources at the Sangh headquarters in Nagpur confirmed that Gadkari’s renomination is likely to be announced by the end of the month when all formalities for the move will have been completed.
How did he manage this despite the high-profile scandal involving him and the Purti Group? Sources say the decision to retain Gadkari as president was taken early this month after a series of consultations between the RSS top brass and veteran leader L.K. Advani in New Delhi. Plagued by accusations of stalling Gadkari’s removal from party presidentship after allegations of corruption surfaced against him, the Sangh in December 2012 had told the BJP that it would now leave the decision of choosing its president to them. Senior RSS leaders had met in Nagpur on December 4-5 and conveyed to the BJP that its presidentship was an internal matter and would have to be treated as such in the future.
Next, Advani suggested that a woman be made the president of the party. According to sources, he was taking a cue from the outpouring of support for the Delhi gangrape victim and believed that the mood in the country was just right for the BJP to anoint a woman party chief. Sources confirm that while Advani was in favour of the Leader of Opposition, Sushma Swaraj, two other names—of former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhararaje Scindia and the recently rehabilitated Uma Bharati—had also been sent to the RSS for consideration. While Swaraj reportedly turned down the offer on health grounds, the other names were dropped for lack of consensus.
The Sangh then stepped in again and through its emissary suggested that, given the lack of alternatives, the choice for president had to be between Gadkari and former party chief Rajnath Singh. Sources in the BJP confirm that, given the history of cold vibes between Advani and Rajnath, the former preferred Gadkari. This was a rare instance when Advani’s choice had the approval of, and was finally sealed by, RSS chief Mohanrao Bhagwat and Bhaiyyaji Joshi.
A senior leader in the BJP explains, “Over the last two months, it looked almost impossible for Gadkari to get a second term, but party leaders were told that, as in 2009, this time again the BJP had no alternative to choose from. In simple words, Gadkari is getting the benefit of the TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor. What has also helped Gadkari is the ever prominent infighting among the top BJP leaders in Delhi, which makes it difficult for any one leader to be projected and promoted as party chief.”
While the Sangh and BJP leadership agreed to back Gadkari, senior leaders feared that suspended BJP MP Ram Jethmalani could prove to be a hurdle. Accordingly, sources reveal, a meeting was called at Advani’s residence last week, where Jethmalani and Gadkari were invited to work out a truce in the presence of Balbir Punj. Though his suspension has not been revoked, senior leaders believe Jethmalani has been ‘handled’ for now.
It could well be the beginning of Gadkari, Part II. But thereby hangs another tale: the manner in which the RSS chose not to consult BJP chief ministers over the choice. Narendra Modi, for instance. Till the time of writing, the third-time-in-a-row Gujarat chief minister had not been consulted.
Has the BJP (TINA-enabled President, Jan 28) gone insane? This is the problem with people like us, who are anti-leftist. We throw out sensible people—look at what happened to Jaswant Singh and Arun Shourie.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Prarthana Gehlote, is this a case of premature journalistic ejaculation?
Suddenly the situation got very interesting. parivar has made a very curious choice, choosing rajnath singh for the second time. this signifies temple will occupy the center of the 2014 campaign motif.
Now, for the interesting part, gadkari had come up as a compromise choice but he became a contender. Now, in addition to sushma swaraj, modi, jaitely, naidu, rajnath singh, uma bharti he will also put his hat in the ring.
my money is on rajnath singh if modi is not acceptble, after all when push came to shove he was selected from the second rung leaders, Twice!
Apparently it's Rajnath Singh now!
>>The route to Presidency,
is via Nagpur residency!
All this while we were told Gadkari was the RSS man, the Nagpur brahmin for who RSS even forced the BJP to change the constitution. Now that Gadkari is gone and Rajnath is in, it is still because of Nagpur!
Heads I win, tails you lose.
Bloody potface needs to go. The BJP has gone completely insane. They threw out Jaswant Singh, one of India's most respectable politicians. They even opposed Vajpayee when he was teh PM and he had to convince the swadeshi loons who opposed his reforms. They sidelined Arun Shourie. This is a problem that all of us anti leftists/socialists/statists/congress/communists face. We sideline the intelligent among us and allow the 'enemy' to use emotional appeals to bribe the poor and the middle class voter into voting against their long term inherent interests.
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