New Delhi: A day ahead of the elections to choose the BJP president, senior leader Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday asked for the nomination papers for the election to the top post of party.

READ MORE: Mahesh may contest against Gadkari

Earlier on Monday, another BJP leader, Mahesh Jethmalani had said that he will contest the elections if Gadkari was made the official candidate. "I just said there should be a contest if Gadkari is contesting. If I have to engage in a token fight, I may decide," Mahesh had said. However, Jethmalani on Tuesday said that he is being denied a nomination form to prevent him from contesting.

Meanwhile, the I-T department on Tuesday launched on-field inquiries at around nine locations in Mumbai belonging to alleged shell companies related to Nitin Gadkari's Purti Group.

Sources in the I-T department said the exercise by its investigation wing was in continuation of the earlier searches carried out at the shell companies (entities which serve as a vehicle for business transactions without themselves having any significant assets or operations) related to Purti group in Mumbai.

Gadkari, who shared the stage at a party programme in Utan in Maharashtra with senior leader LK Advani, will reach the capital on Tuesday. He will file his nomination papers on Wednesday and is likely to be declared elected unopposed, party sources said.

Gadkari and Advani were not seen exchanging any word at the programme and the apparent cold vibes reflected the rift within the party on the incumbent getting a second term. However, with the RSS still firmly backing Gadkari, he is likely to get another three years at the helm.

Sinha created a flutter on Tuesday evening when he procured a nomination form and voters' list from Chief Electoral Officer, Thawar Chand Gehlot. Advani declined to answer newsmen's questions as to whether Sinha, a former Union Minister, is in the race.

Confirming this, Gehlot said Sinha is the only person to have taken the form from him till now. However, he hastened to add that the forms are easily available on the party website and state headquarters of the BJP.

A candidate for the BJP presidential poll should have been an active member of the party for 12 consecutive years and an ordinary member for 15 years. He would also need atleast 20 proposers each from five different state units, which adds upto 100.

While Mahesh Jethmalani fails to qualify, Sinha is unlikely to get 100 proposers from five states.

(JPN/Agencies)

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