Final countdown to Rajnath's term to begin from Oct 1


Former MP and party general secretary Thawar Chand Gehlot, who is the Central Election Officer for the organisation elections, has finalised the election dates. Gehlot has appointed 32 state election officers for the organisational polls.

Singh has already announced that he will not seek another term as the BJP constitution allows only one three-year term. His term comes to an end in December. Singh became president in 2005 when L K Advani had to resign in the wake of his "Jinnah was secular" remarks.

The process of BJP organisation elections will begin on October 1 with polls for booth committee members and heads. This will be completed on October 31. Dates between November 1-15 has been set aside for electing Mandal committee members and heads, followed by the district presidents and state council members, which will be completed by November 30.

From December 1-15, BJP state unit presidents and national council members will be elected. Once this is completed, the date for election of a new president will be decided by the party top brass.

A three-member appeal committee, comprising Rajya Sabha MP and former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, Jayawanti Behan Mehta and Ramnath Kovind, has also been constituted to look into all complaints that arise during the election process.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat has reportedly told BJP to elect an RSS man - who is widely acceptable in the party, is non-controversial, young and dynamic- as president.

Sources said the names of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, BJP Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar, have been ruled out by the RSS.

The names of BJP vice-president Bal Apte, former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and several others are doing the rounds. However, BJP may go for a comparatively lesser known face as its next president.

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