The BJP will endorse an unprecedented back- to- back second term for its president Nitin Gadkari, later this week. Considered interloper in the deeply fractured Delhi politics till a year ago, the BJP chief appears to have finally found his feet.
Firmly backed by the BJP’s ideological fountainhead, the RSS, Gadkari has slowly transformed himself. He had acquired the image of a babbling leader soon after he took over — when he called Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad names.
But this industrialist- turned- politician now measures every word he speaks when cameras are around. As television can make or mar a politician, Gadkari too learnt the lessons the hard way. He went under the knife to lose weight. His wardrobe has changed. Finely cut linens and suave Nehru jackets have replaced his haggard look.
The 55- year- old Maharashtra politician suddenly shot into the national scene to occupy the post usually occupied by party veterans and national leaders. He was considered a lightweight in the company of L. K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi. Gadkari’s political resume had a most glaring deficiency — he had never fought an election nor had he held any national post. But now he is gearing up to fight the next Lok Sabha elections from his home state.
To curtail the influence of other powerful leaders within the party, he issued a gag order on all holding offthe- record briefings. But his weakness came to the fore when he bent backwards to remove Sanjay Joshi, whom he had drafted in the party, to please Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. As the issue of his second term approaches, Gadkari has ordered that election of presidents in at least 50 per cent of state units should be over by October 31 to enable the election of national president by November 10.
The BJP’s constitution makes it mandatory that the process for election of national president should start only when organisational elections are over in at least half the state units. The election for BJP’s national chief was scheduled for January 2013, after the Gujarat assembly polls. The new schedule is seen as Gadkari’s bid to scuttle any plan by Modi to stake claim for the top party post.
But senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the changes were made keeping in mind the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly polls, which will keep party leaders and workers busy.
<Copyright>Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2012. MTNPL. All rights reserved.</Copyright>
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