High drama in BJP on eve of Presidential election

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 22, 2013 14:21 hrs

New Delhi: High drama unfolded in the BJP today on the eve of election of a new party president with Yashwant Sinha procuring a nomination form and Mahesh Jethmalani complaining he is being denied one even as Nitin Gadkari appeared set to get a second term.

Gadkari, who shared the stage at a party programme in Utan in Maharashtra with senior leader L K Advani, will reach the capital tonight. He will file his nomination papers tomorrow and is likely to be declared elected unopposed, party sources said.

Gadkari and Advani were not seen exchanging any word at the programme and the apparent cold vibes reflected the rift within the party on the incumbent getting a second term. However, with the RSS still firmly backing Gadkari, he is likely to get another three years at the helm.

Sinha created a flutter this evening when he procured a nomination form and voters' list from Chief Electoral Officer, Thawar Chand Gehlot. Advani declined to answer questions as to whether Sinha, a former Union Minister, is in the race.

Confirming this, Gehlot said Sinha is the only person to have taken the form from him till now. However, he hastened to add that the forms are easily available on the party website and state headquarters of the BJP.

Earlier in the day, Mahesh Jethmalani said he is being denied a nomination form to prevent him from contesting.

Party veterans point out that despite all the pretense of an election of the BJP President, the stringent provisions of the party Constitution will make it difficult for the forms of Sinha and Jethmalani to be accepted.

A candidate for the BJP Presidential poll should have been an active member of the party for 12 consecutive years and an ordinary member for 15 years. He would also need at least 20 proposers each from five different state units, which adds up to 100.

While Mahesh Jethmalani fails to qualify, Sinha is unlikely to get 100 proposers from five states. 

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