Modi praises, Jethmalani hopeful of Rajnath

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 23, 2013 18:54 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IBNS) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated Rajnath Singh after he was elected as the president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unopposed, and said the party will 'gain' from the move.

"I called up Shri Rajnath Singh ji & congratulated him. He brings with him vast experience of both organisation & administration," Modi tweeted.

"Rajnath Singh ji served as Agriculture Minister in Atal ji´s Govt. He has always been associated with the farmers. BJP will gain from this," the senior BJP leader said.

Meanwhile, legal luminary and leader Ram Jethmalani said he hoped that Rajnath Singh ´cleans´ the party.

"In the present circumstances, he is a much better man," Jethmalani told media.

"I hope with absolute wisdom and great statesmanship, he cleans the BJP of people who are inside the BJP but are a threat to its continued existence," he said.

Rajnath Singh was elected the president of the BJP unopposed on Wednesday, ending weeks of speculation over the outgoing chief Nitin Gadkari who chose not to seek an re-election after facing revolt in the party itself over business malpractice charges against him.

Rajnath Singh, who was the party president in the past, met party veteran LK Advani in the morning, before heading to the BJP headquarters, where he attended a party parliamentary board meeting which endorsed his name as the next chief of the organisation.

He filed his nomination papers Wednesday and was elected uncontested to take over from Nitin Gadkari. He assumed the position for the period 2013 to 2015, thus beginning his second term as the BJP chief.

After Singh´s election, Nitin Gadkari said he kept party before himself and so stepped aside and would work keeping country first and taking briefs from the new party chief.

"I will come clean first and I do not want the party to suffer from the conspiracy to malign it," said Gadkari.

Earlier, 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.

On Tuesday, income tax officials visited eight locations in Mumbai linked to 24 different firms that invested in or did business with the Purti Group even as Gadkari maintained that the allegations of wrongdoing against him were fabricated.

More from Sify: