Gadkari resigns; Rajnath likely to be next BJP chief

January 23, 2013 - 6:30:41 am

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajnath Singh yesterday appeared likely to be made the next party chief with top leaders reaching a consensus over his candidature, sources from the party said.

The source also said Nitin Gadkari has submitted his resignation.  Singh was former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and held the reins of the party twice. 

Earlier Gadkari announced that he will not seek a second term as the party chief and accused the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of spreading disinformation about him. In a statement, he said that he had committed no wrong or any impropriety either directly or indirectly and will legally and politically fight efforts to malign him.

Gadkari is facing probe in cases related to alleged financial wrongdoing by the Purti Group linked to him. “I have committed no wrong or any impropriety either directly or indirectly. Yet the UPA government has been making an effort to spread disinformation about me in order to hurt me and my party.” 

“I have always said that I am willing for any independent enquiry. I shall fight these efforts of this government both politically and legally,” he said.

“I do not wish that this should in any way adversely affect the interest of the BJP. I, have, therefore, decided not to seek a second term as the president of the BJP,” Gadkari said. Expressing his gratitude to party colleagues and the cadres of the BJP who have cooperated with him during his term as a president, Gadkari said he shall continue to serve BJP as a committed worker. “I have conveyed my decision to my colleagues,” he said.

The Income Tax Department yesterday conducted surveys of around nine locations into shell companies allegedly owned by Gadkari, official sources said. The party called the move vendetta politics by the central government.

As part of the procedure, IT sleuths went about verifying the names, addresses, nature of businesses and other details to confirm their existence and other information related to the Purti group (not the Kolkata-based Purti Group), the sources said.