Will Nitin Gadkari’s fate as BJP national president be sealed at the YB Chavan centre, or will the party leadership remain mum on the subject? Will Narendra Modi mark his presence? Where will Yeddyurappa stay if he changes his mind and decides to drop by?
As BJP gears up for its national executive meeting which kicks off today at the Y B Chavan Centre in Nariman Point, party members have the questions racing through their heads. The meet, being organised by Mumbai BJP, is expected to throw up some controversies, even as certain bigwigs remain undecided about showing up, and others have arrived in the city.
Gadkari to carry on?
While it is likely that Gadkari will continue holding the party’s reins, allowing him to continue as national president for a second term in a row requires a change in the party’s constitution. A senior party leader said, “Party constitution cannot be amended at the national executive. Only suggestions can be made here; the final changes can be done only at the national convention.” But leaders in the party’s city and the state units want to make the amendments as soon as possible.
“If the matter is not decided in Mumbai, then we cannot say if it will be taken up again at the national convention. We know the final decision can’t be taken here, but at least a proposal should be made at the meeting,” said a leader from Mumbai. The buzz is that discussions about Gadkari’s second term may just not take place at the meeting because many members opposed to his candidature are reportedly waiting to jump on the opportunity to kick up a fuss.
Modi? Not on Day 1
According to BJP insiders, a few officials from Gujarat came to check the venue last morning, which is an indication that their CM Narendra Modi will attend the meeting. According to sources in the party, Modi won’t be there on the first day. A party member said, “It’s definite that Modi won’t be coming on the first day, which will mostly be marked by speeches and activities that are not so exciting. We got a confirmation from his office that he’ll be coming to Mumbai on May 25.”
No room for Yeddy
As former Karnataka CM BS Yeddurappa had publicly announced that he wouldn’t be attending the national executive meet, organisers have not made arrangements for his accommodation. A party worker looking after lodging arrangements said, “As Yeddurappa has said that he won’t be attending, we didn’t make arrangements for his stay in the city.” He added, “However, (Anant) Kumarji changed his plan thrice.” Kumar is reportedly presenting himself so at least one stalwart from Karanataka is in attendance.
Behind the scenes
According to sources, most arrangements at the centre, such as setting up the stage and other such things, are being looked after by Pramod Mahajan’s daughter Poonam. While many in the party do not approve, the party president seems to have given his nod to Poonam for taking charge. Apart from her, party youth have been involved in managing the entire programme. While BJP general secretary Sanjay Upadhyay is looking after the centre, Niranjan Shetty and Vivekanand Gupta are handling the media. Jiten Gajaria and Ashwin Vyas are in charge of the back office, the paperwork and attending to leaders.