India's opposition party names new chief after shock resignation
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's main opposition party elected a new leader on Wednesday after the scandal-tainted incumbent resigned abruptly following a corruption scandal just over a year before national elections.
Mr Nitin Gadkari, president of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2009, stepped down late on Tuesday over a probe into alleged misuse of funds for irrigation work in the western state of Maharashtra.
The party hastily appointed veteran party leader Rajnath Singh, a 61-year-old parliamentarian and former state leader who served as BJP president from 2005 to 2009 when Gadkari took over. His new term will end in 2015.
"I am taking this post at a crucial time and it is my responsibility to consolidate the party and prepare for the elections. We have a big battle waiting for us," said Singh.