Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani is understood to have indicated that he will not complete his five-year term as the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and make way for his deputy Sushma Swaraj.
Highly placed party sources said Advani also conveyed to Arun Jaitley that the latter would continue to be the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. Though Advani did not specify when he would hang up his boots, he is unlikely to continue for long after a new party president is chosen.
Advani is believed to have told Swaraj that she will replace him as leader of the Opposition as and when he steps down, after she declined to head the party once incumbent Rajnath Singh completes his tenure in December.
The offer of becoming the next BJP president after Rajnath Singh was made to Swaraj at the behest of Advani, the sources said.
However, Swaraj told Advani's emissary Ananth Kumar that she is already the deputy leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and was keen on contributing to parliamentary affairs of the party and the National Democratic Alliance. Advani then conveyed to Swaraj that she will replace him as the leader of the Opposition.
A senior party Member of Parliament said Maharashtra BJP leader Nitin Gadkari's name as party chief was not suggested by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, but was in fact decided upon by the party top brass, as there was a consensus that none of the BJP chief ministers should be 'disturbed'.
Gadkari was acceptable to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and most of the party leadership. However, some leaders in the Advani camp were not happy with this choice, but went along in the absence of any other viable alternative. PTI