16 June, 2021

A New Hat In The Ring

Gadkari isn’t there just to run the middle lap and pass the baton. Wildcard 2014?

Tribhuvan Tiwari
A New Hat In The Ring
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Twenty-five years ago, a young Brahmin swayamsewak from Nagpur shied away from writing campaign messages on walls, painting it white instead so that someone else with a better handwriting could indite the party message. Cut to 2011: Nitin Jairam Gadkari, “11 kg lighter” after a bariatric surgery, has not just shed the fear of his own “bad handwriting” but is bold enough to try and write a new future for himself and his party.

So, when the 54-year-old party president, the youngest ever for the BJP, broke the news of his electoral ambitions on October 22 to the media in Mumbai, he showed no sign of nervousness. “I’ll contest the Lok Sabha polls,” he said. And with that, for the first time, he repositioned himself as a serious national contender and perhaps, as BJP insiders say, a possible prime ministerial candidate.

“It was a well-thought-out move,” says a BJP leader. “With this announcement, Gadkari has left the party with little choice. How will anyone in the party deny...

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