January 23rd, 2013

Gadkari quits; Rajnath likely to be BJP chief

NEW DELHI: On a day of high drama regarding the BJP”s presidential election, current party chief Nitin Gadkari tonight opted out of the race with the sources saying that Rajnath Singh is likely to become the next party president.
The BJP sources said the formal announcement on Singh is likely to be made after the BJP Parliamentary Party Board meeting at 0930 hrs tomorrow.
The election for the president post is scheduled for tomorrow.
“I have had the privilege to serve my party the BJP as a political worker and finally as its president for one term. As a part of my commitment to the weaker sections particularly to the farmers I embarked upon social enterprise to serve the society”, Gadkari said in a statement.
He said he has 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 I am willing for any independent enquiry. I shall fight these efforts of this government both politically and legally”, Gadkari said.
He warned the UPA government against indulging in political vendetta against its opponents and said that such cheap gimmicks will not deviate him from fulfilling his commitment to serving the nation.
Gakdari said he does not wish that the allegations against him 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. I am extremely grateful  to all my colleagues and the cadres of the BJP who have cooperated with me during my term as a president.  I shall continue to serve my  party as a committed worker. I have conveyed my decision to my colleagues”, he added.
A news agency added that Gadkari, meanwhile, submitted his resignation, and told media he did so to get his name cleared of the allegations of corruption and financial irregularities.
“They are maligning the party, I thought let the inquiry be over. I will not seek a second term as long as the inquiry is not over,” Gadkari told reporters.
He added he will “keep working for the party”.
Gadkari’s resignation comes after several senior BJP leaders expressed objection to a second term being given to him as party president after corruption allegations were levelled against him.
Rajnath Singh is a former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and held the reins of the party twice.

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