Rajnath Singh was today unanimously elected President of the BJP, capping a last minute dramatic turn of events which saw Nitin Gadkari being forced out of the race for the second term.
The 61-year-old senior party leader from Uttar Pradesh takes the baton back from Nitin Gadkari whom he handed over the post in 2009.
Singh, who emerged as the consensus candidate last night after Gadkari dramatically opted out of the race for a second term, was the only candidate to file the nomination and was declared elected unopposed.
Gadkari was among the first ones to wish the new party President soon after the announcement by Election officer Thawar Chand Gehlot in the presence of top party leaders including L. K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu.
Gadkari, whose candidature was being pushed strongly by RSS, suddenly quit the race in the midst of allegations of impropriety by his company Purti Group.
After taking over, Rajnath Singh said, “I accept this not as a post, but as a responsibility” and said he would take the battle to a decisive end by bringing the BJP to power.
He said he was taking over in not very conducive conditions in the wake of allegations levelled against the outgoing chief Nitin Gadkari.
Singh said though the party wanted Gadkari to continue as party president for a second term, but he took the moral high by deciding not to contest for a second term till his name was cleared of all charges.
The new Chief exuded confidence about steering the party in the assembly elections in various States later this year and expressed the hope to see the formation of an NDA regime led by the BJP in the next general elections.