BJP senior leaders such as LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley along with BJP ideological mentor RSS supported Singh unanimously for the post. According to sources, RSS was forced to change its decision on Gadkari citing tremendous opposition within the party over his (Gadkari's) second term as president.
Rajnath Singh too is a veteran RSS man and is seen as close to the Sangh ideology. High drama unfolded in the BJP on Tuesday on the eve of election of a new party president with Yashwant Sinha procuring a nomination form and Mahesh Jethmalani complaining that he is being denied one even as Nitin Gadkari appeared set to get a second term.
Citing the tremendous pressure, Gadkari later on Tuesday evening resigned from his post making a way for his successor Rajnath Singh.
Rajnath Singh's first term as BJP President
After BJP's failure in 2004 general elections and resignation of Advani, and the murder of strategist Pramod Mahajan, Rajnath Singh, as the then president of the party, sought to rebuild the party by focusing on the most basic Hindutva ideologies.
He commended the rule of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister, pointing towards all the developments the National Democratic Alliance made for the ordinary people of India.
Despite several failure during his tenure as president, BJP had achieved several milestones with Rajnath Singh.
In early 2007, he oversaw BJP victories in the states of Uttarakhand and Punjab, as well as municipal elections in Delhi, Chandigarh and across Maharashtra.
The Assembly elections in Gujarat in 2007, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh in 2008 added a new dimension to the string of successful electoral victories by the BJP.
BJP had managed to win 5 Assembly elections in Uttranchal, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh in a row. Later, he lost the party presidential election to Nitin Gadkari in 2009.