BJP chief: Gadkari set to be re-elected
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Though most senior BJP leaders had reconciled to the diktat from the RSS which wanted a second term for Gadkari, Advani was learnt to have escalated his reluctance against Gadkari and sought to forge a consensus on an alternative candidate.
Advani camp was learnt to have tried forging consensus on the name of Sushma Swaraj with a suggestion to annoint RSS's second best preference Rajnath Singh to the post of the Leader of Opposition in bargain.
However, the attempt to find an alternative of Gadkari fizzled out with none of the other senior leaders ready to play along with Advani despite their reservations against Gadkari.
"No other senior leader wants to take the responsibility when the RSS wants to micro-manage party affairs... why would Sushma or any other leader attract the ire of Sangh when RSS's choice is very clear. They have long political careers ahead," confided an Advani camp loyalist, expressing frustrations over the inability of current crop of leadership to stand up against RSS's micro-management.
Realising the resignation of all other leaders before the RSS's diktat, Advani was learnt to have finally reconciled to a second term for Gadkari who is slated to file his nomination papers on Wednesday.
Consequently, the RSS, indirectly through Gadkari, will be micro-managing saffron party's affairs during the next general elections for which the party cadre is mounting pressure to declare Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
According to the schedule announced on Sunday, the election process may be completed on Wednesday itself unless any other candidate joins the fray for which the central election officer will have to declare date of polls. But it remains an absolutely remote possibility with Gadkari being the only man standing to file his nomination papers on January 23.