Nitin Gadkari was on Saturday appointed the Bharatiya Janata Party president at a meeting of the parliamentary board of the party, marking a generational change in its hierarchy.
Gadkari, 52, succeeds Rajnath Singh to become the youngest president of the party and the first one from Maharashtra.
Gadkari was elected the party chief at the meeting attended by senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and others.
Earlier in the day, Gadkari said he did not view politics as a career but as an instrument of socio-economic reform, to bring about a change in the lives of the poor and the downtrodden.
"I don't work as if I am making a political career. I work for the poor and downtrodden sections of society who don't have food to eat, house to live in or clothes to wear. I strive to bring about a transformation in their lives," he said.
Advani on Friday stepped down as the Leader of Opposition, paving the way for Sushma Swaraj to don the mantle. He was chosen at a meeting of party MPs for the newly-created post of chairman of the party's Parliamentary Party.