New Delhi/January 23
In a last minute dramatic turn of events which saw Nitin Gadkari pulling out of the race for the second term, the 61-year-old senior leader from UP, Rajnath Singh was unanimously elected as the president of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).
Rajnath, who was elected president for second time, was the president of BJP before Nitin Gadkari took over the post in 2009. Rajnath Singh was selected as unopposed candidate last night after Gadkari, reportedly, opted out of the race due to allegation of impropriety and a pending enquiry in Purti case. There were media reports that Mahesh Jethmalani, son of eminent lawyer and senior BJP leader Ram Jethmalani or Yashwant Sinha might contest elections for the post.
Among the first ones who wished Rajnath Singh after the election was Gadkari, soon after an announcement was made by election officer, Thawar Chand Gehlot. Senior party leaders including L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu also wished the new president after the election.
Soon after taking the charge, Singh said that he is accepting the post as responsibility and not as post and he would put his efforts to bring party into power in 2014 elections. He defended the outgoing president Gadkari by saying that allegations against him are political politically motivated and the party will back Gadkari in his struggle to come clean of all charges. Singh also condemned the statement of Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in which he had alleged that RSS and BJP are involved in terrorist activities.