Jethmalani, Sinha or Rajnath: who will face off against Gadkari?

While Mahesh Jethmalani has volunteered to participate as a 'token' contestant, indications are now that other BJP leaders like Yashwant Sinha and Rajnath Singh could also be in the running for the party's presidential poll.

Jethmalani, who has said he would take part in the presidential poll in order to make it a token contest, complained today that he had been denied a nomination form by the BJP, CNN-IBN reported.

Nitin Gadkari.

Meanwhile, NDTV reported that after reports that the Income Tax department had restarted its probe into the funding of companies the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been having second thoughts about backing Gadkari for the top post.

Unnamed sources were quoted as saying that former party president Rajnath Singh could benefit from this, but it is now known yet whether Singh has not taken a nomination form.

However, one very likely candidate who has voiced his opposition to Gadkari in the past and might throw his hat in the ring is senior party leader Yashwant Sinha.

Sinha’s aide was reportedly seen leaving the BJP office with nomination papers and the former Finance Minister under the NDA regime might file his nomination papers to take on the incumbent BJP president. Sinha had earlier objected to Gadkari staying on as BJP president despite allegations of using his office for personal gain while running the Purti group.

Sinha has so far chosen to stay mum on the issue but if he contests he would perhaps have the support of a group of BJP leaders who are opposed to Gadkari’s candidature and the party continuing to having to take instructions from the RSS.

The BJP characteristically has chosen not to speak about the issue and has said the candidates will be revealed tomorrow.

"I have nothing to offer. It is entirely the jurisdiction of the Chief Election Officer of the party," party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.