Is Nitin Gadkari really the best person to lead the BJP for a second term as party president or is he just a prop by the RSS to counter the growing influence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the party?
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) amended its party constitution yesterday in order to allow Nitin Gadkari to become the party president for the second term after the completion of his tenure in December. However, some believe that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) was the driving force behind this decision, despite his presence at the helm not appreciated by many other party leaders.
"Gadkari is largely being projected as the next national leader in order to curb the Modi phenomenon. The BJP is making sure he is looked in the same light as Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay," Pushpesh Pant, political analyst and former JNU professor, said on CNN-IBN.
Rather than a anti-minority, strongman image that is epitomised by Narendra Modi, Gadkari represented a more level-headed face of the party, he said.
But is Gadkari then the right man to lead one of India's biggest political parties? Not according to Pant.
"He does not have the gravitas to lead the largest opposition party in the country. There are enough people in the BJP who have proven themselves," he said.
However Chandan Mitra, editor of The Pioneer disagreed with this view.
"Gadkari is a grassroots man. He charges up the audience wherever he goes for a speech," he said.
He also said that if the accusation of indulging in loose talk were applied to Gadkari is a cause to reject him, then several Congress leaders are guilty of the same and that should also have been rejected by the party.