18 Dec : A generational change in the BJP hierarchy may be on the anvil with L K Advani all set to quit as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha on Friday and party President Rajnath Singh stepping down on Saturday.
57-year-old Sushma Swaraj, deputy leader of the party in Lok Sabha, is tipped to succeed Advani (83), who makes way under an RSS-conceived move to usher in younger leadership against the backdrop of the debacle in Lok Sabha polls.
Advani may be made the Chairman of BJP Parliamentary Party, a post to be created by amending the parliamentary party constitution. A two-thirds majority is a must to make such an amendment.
Soon after Lok Sabha defeat, the BJP veteran had suggested to the party top brass to choose a new leader of opposition, but it was ignored and he was chosen for the post.
But later RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat stepped in to suggest that the party better look at having a younger leadership between 55 and 65 years of age.
Simultaneously, a change of guard is also on the anvil in the party organisation when President Rajnath Singh, 58, is slated to tender his resignation on 19th December.
That will pave the way for Maharashtra party unit Chief Nitin Gadkari to take over, party sources said.
“BJP Parliamentary Board meeting will be held at 3 pm on December 19 followed by a meeting of office-bearers of the party,” BJP headquarters In-charge Shyam Jaju said.
Sources said Rajnath Singh will submit his resignation to the Parliamentary Board in Saturday’s meeting.
Gadkari, 52, had earned the reputation of a good administrator as a PWD Minister in Maharashtra in the Sena-BJP government and a good organiser.
He has been called to Delhi for the meeting and will be anointed party unit Chief. The decision will be ratified by the BJP National Council.
In the wake of these developments, some posts, including the deputy leader of BJP in Lok Sabha, would be up for grabs in the party.
The race for the post of Deputy Leader of BJP in the Lower House is now between Ananth Kumar, Gopinath Munde and Shahnawaz Hussain.
Munde and Yashwant Sinha are also eyeing the post of Public Accounts Committee Chairman which has fallen vacant after Jaswant Singh’s resignation.