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Is Nitin Gadkari the next BJP president?

November 12, 2009 22:33 IST

Maharashtra BJP chief Nitin Gadkari's visit to New Delhi at a time when RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat was in town has raised speculation of his prospects of becoming the next party president.

However, Gadkari himself was non-committal about his prospects and said he would interact with the media later.

"I am not here to meet the RSS chief. I came here for a meeting with government officials about my power plant," he said.

However, Gadkari held long parleys with BJP general secretary (organisation) Ramlal, party sources said.

They said Gadkari is the front-runner for the post of president when incumbent Rajnath Singh completes his term in December. He is said to be the RSS favourite as well.

Other names earlier doing the rounds for the post have been pushed to the background. Former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar hampered his chances after making the "rancid pickle" remark against senior leader L K Advani.

Bhagwat himself has indicated that four top leaders -- Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar -- were not in the race for the top post.

Other contenders like BJP vice-president Bal Apte do not have age on their side, the sources said.

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