BJP special session on Jan 20

New Delhi, Jan 4 | Updated: Jan 5 2006, 05:30am hrs
A special session of the BJPs national council will be held here on January 20 to ratify the appointment of Rajnath Singh as party president.

Senior BJP leader Muqtar Abbas Naqvi told FE that about 2,500 BJP delegates are expected to attend the one-day session. Rajnath Singh will also discuss his future plans and his strategy on dealing with the various challenges facing the party, he said.

Former party chief LK Advani, after formally demitting office on December 31 in Mumbai, had announced Mr Singh as his successor. Mr Advani had then said that Mr Singh was elected president after various consultations. However, he did not give details about the process and who had elected his successor.

The BJP national council, considered to be the supreme body on the issue, technically has the power to reject the appointment. However, no BJP president, since the partys inception in 1980, has had to face a contest. The process usually involved consultations between the Sangh Parivar especially the RSS and a few top party leaders, who would arrive upon a consensus candidate. This name is announced formally, after consultaions with more party leaders, and later ratified by the national council.

After ratification, Mr Singhs term would coincide with that of the present national council which expires in February 2007. Although the BJP constitution does not allow a second term for the party president, Mr Advani had clarified in Mumbai that Mr Singh would be eligible to contest the next election too as he was only completing the original term of Venkaiah Naidu as party president.