New Delhi: BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is set to seek a re-election for the post amid controversy over his business practices, faced an irritant in party leader Mahesh Jethmalani who had earlier come out in open to criticize the party chief on corruption charges.
According to a national TV network report, Mahesh Jethmalani has threatened to contest for the post of the party chief if Gadkari was made the president for a second term despite the allegations of business malpractices slapped against him.
"I am in favour of a contest against Mr Gadkari as BJP president. If no one within the party is willing to contest against him, I will contest," Mahesh Jethmalani told CNN-IBN.
But the party sources told the channel that Mahesh Jethmanali cannot contest unless he is a member of the BJP for 12 years.
Mahesh and his father Ram Jethmalani were the first to come out in open against Gadkari over his business dealings and his possible re-election as party president.
With their ideological patron RSS backing incumbent Nitin Gadkari, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday issued the notification for its presidential election.
Reports said Gadkari is likely to file his nomination papers on Jan 23.
If no one else files nomination, he would be re-elected unopposed.
Reports said party patriarch L K Advani had suggested the name of Sushma Swaraj for the post but RSS, the ideological patron of BJP, had ruled it out.
In that case Gadkari is the consensus candidate.
Gadkari's Purti Group has come under attack for business malpractices and the allegations led to a revolt against him in the party.
Legal luminary and leader Ram Jethmalani, his son Mahesh Jethmalani and a host of other leaders had openly slammed his possibility of re-election and had demanded that Gadkari must step down as the president of the outfit till a probe into the corruption charges against him cleared him.