BJP discusses Rajnath, Sushma as likely party chiefs

New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) While Rajnath Singh is emerging as the likely candidate to take over as president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), some party leaders are also pitching for Sushma Swaraj to be the national president in order to get a candidate with a "nationally accepted" face, a party source revealed.

Senior BJP leaders were engaged in hectic deliberations Tuesday evening on choosing a national president, a day ahead of receiving the nominations for the post.

"The party has never seen such an upheaval, such fierce debate," a top source told IANS.

"The discussions have been very deep... While Rajnath Singh is emerging as a likely consensus, there are still some pitching for Sushma," the source added.

"The party is trying for a candidate who is more accepted nationally," he added.

Asked about Nitin Gadkari, who has said he is not seeking a second term, the source said that Gadkari "was almost certain" to have become president for a second time but "Advani's writ prevailed".

L.K. Advani is apparently not keen on Gadkari being given a second term in view of the alleged wrongdoings in companies linked to Gadkari.

Gadkari told media: "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."

He added he will "keep working for the party".

Several senior BJP leaders have expressed objection to a second term being given to Gadkari.

Rajnath Singh is a former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and has held the reins of the party twice. Sushma Swaraj is Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

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