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New Delhi: BJP president Nitin Gadkari appears to be front-runner for a second term in office as the party weighs its options for the crucial decision which is likely to be taken by the middle of this month, said informed sources.
The sources said that Gadkari has an edge in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) presidential sweepstakes as he continues to have backing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) despite some demands from within the party against giving him a second term in the wake of allegations relating to financial wrongdoing in Purti Group linked to him.
“He is the front-runner as no other name has emerged so far. There is no unanimity on any alternate name so far,” a party leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said.
Party sources said discussions on the issue of presidential choice had been going on at individual level among senior leaders so far and a collective view is yet to be taken by the leadership.
“Party’s core group is yet to meet on the issue though there have been discussions between individual leaders,” said a party functionary.
The BJP is, at present, going through organisational elections which will lead finally to the election of the party president.
The sources said elections of office-bearers of about 22 state party units are expected to be completed by January 10, setting the stage for issuing notification for the presidential poll.
They said the party constitution makes it mandatory for at least 50 percent of state units to complete the process of their elections before the notification for the party’s presidential poll is issued. “The picture on the party’s choice of next president is expected to be clear by the middle of the month,” the party functionary said.