New BJP president is Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh has been elected unopposed as the new president of the BJP. The 61-year-old will now lead the party as it battles the Congress in next year's general election. His term will end in 2015. 61-year-old Singh from Uttar Pradesh, who takes over from Nitin Gadkari, returns to the political terrain in which the low-profile, soft-spoken and articulate leader found himself about six years ago when he was chosen by the saffron party to head it. General elections is due in May 2014. Singhs dramatic elevation to the top party post caps a period of big political churnings within BJP divided on re-electing Gadkari as president for a second time. It was Singh who had handed over the baton to Gadkari in December 2009.
But in a sudden and dramatic last-minute twist, Gadkari, facing allegations of dubious funding of his company, was last night forced out of the race for BJP President's post for a second term and Rajnath emerged the consensus choice. The party probably had little choice except to fall back on Singhs non-controversial image and a high degree of acceptability among rival groups in the organization. Singh has again been brought back by the party as chief just three days after the Congress elevated AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi as Vice President. How Singh will reshape the BJP to counter Congress charm offensive remains to be seen though he has often lauded BJPs democratic strength which has enabled a "commoner" like him to lead the party.


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