The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh may have just ensured that a reluctant BJP grants a second term to the current president Nitin Gadkari, who will be crowned again in a week or 10 days from now.
But this imposition from Nagpur may lead to further worsening of the already strained relations between the Parivar and the party. So much so that most BJP leaders privately admit they simply do not know of what use Gadkari will be as party president.
Apart from keeping some more serious claimants at bay and thereby enforcing a status quo, Gadkari serves no other purpose in the party hierarchy, according to these disappointed senior party insiders. In the past couple of years, Gadkari has hardly shown any talent for grasping sensitive political issues and seizing the initiative on behalf of the party, they say.
These recalcitrant leaders, who are unwilling to take orders from the RSS headquarters, recall that Gadkari was nowhere in the picture when Delhi came out on the streets over the brutal gang rape in the capital. Those vociferously highlighting the issue included the same crop of leaders – Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. Even a Rajnath Singh or an M Venakaiah Naidu has been politically sharper and more proactive than Gadkari, they point out.
Those close to the powers-that-be in the BJP say that had one of the middle-rung leaders of the BJP been chosen, the BJP could have settled the succession issue and finally decided on a person who would have led the party to the polls in 2014. It would have allowed the new BJP boss enough time to get a grip of party affairs and take the allies, even prospective allies, into confidence.
It is not necessarily true that the presidency would have fuelled the prime ministerial ambition of the leader chosen for the crucial role. After all, it is common knowledge that Gadkari has long ceased to harbour aspirations for the top political job in the country.