Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari is likely to get another term at the helm as the party on Friday initiated the process of amending its constitution to facilitate such a step.
BJP national office bearers, at a meeting on Friday, approved a proposal to amend the party constitution to allow a second term for the party president, sources said.
Asked about the proposal, party general secretary Ananth Kumar said, "Some internal party matters were discussed at today's meeting of the national office bearers. Any decision about the internal party matters would be taken up at the BJP's national executive meeting at Mumbai later this month."
Party sources said that at the conclave to be held on May 24 and 25, the national executive is expected to adopt a resolution to amend the clause pertaining to the president's tenure.
As per present rules, a BJP president gets only one term of three years. There is no provision for a second consecutive term for the incumbent.
But it was felt that three years is too short a time for the party president to implement his plans. This proposed amendment will help Gadkari to steer the party in the 2014 general elections.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is said to have approved the proposed change in the
BJP constitution and has given its nod to extend Gadkari's term. Gadkari's present term expires in December this year.
Gadkari was named party president in 2009 after the second consecutive drubbing of the BJP in Lok Sabha polls. Both RSS and a major section of the BJP feel that since Gadkari brought about organisational changes with the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in mind, he should lead the party in the next elections.
During today's office bearers' meeting, which was chaired by Gadkari, senior leader L K Advani was not present but Leaders of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley were present.
Other major decisions taken at the office-bearers meeting today included the attachment of BJP Secretary Murlidhar Rao with the party president for coordinating with various states, Ananth Kumar said.
"Many issues that would form the agenda of the party's forthcoming national executive meeting were also discussed at today's meeting. The strategy for the coming assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh was also discussed even as party office-bearers assessed the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur," Kumar told reporters.
The party office-bearers also adopted a resolution to congratulate the Chhattisgarh government and Chief Minister Raman Singh for its "adroit handling" of the situation arising out of the abduction of Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon by Maoists.
"This is a landmark event in the history of dealing with the Naxal menace. BJP takes pride in this achievement. The courageous, non-compromising and yet resilient as well as practical approach taken by the Chhattisgarh government is highly commendable. While congratulating our government in Chhattisgarh, we affirm our commitment to take our fight against anti-national forces to its logical end," the resolution stated.
Ananth Kumar said the party would bring four resolutions at the national executive meeting, including one on the current political situation and another one on the current economic crisis the country faces.
The party leader said a decision on the party's organisational elections would also be taken at its national executive meet at Mumbai.