Nitin Gadkari
Nitin GadkariReuters

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday finalised its decision on nominating current president Nitin Gadkari for the BJP's top post.

In the battle for the top post in the leading opposition party, the RSS said it will refuse support to other candidates including Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj.  Senior BJP leader LK Advani had pitched for Swaraj's candidature, even though she opted out from the race.

"I do not know from where you are getting this. It is absolutely not true," she said in response to questions about being the BJP's choice of president, Indian Express reported.

"We have a party president - Gadkariji," she added without clarifying if he will score a second term.

Underplaying her statements, sources told the daily that Swaraj might be unaware of Advani's recommendation.

Reports said that Advani was against Gadkari's appointment as he is facing several corruption charges. The BJP chief is currently being investigated for allegations of tax evasion and his involvement in a multi-crore irrigation scam in Maharashtra last year.  BJP leaders had demanded Gadkari to step down in the wake of the corruption allegations saying that his image blemished the party's fight against high-level corruption.  Brushing asides the charges and full backing of the RSS, Gadkari, whose term ended in December, resumed his fight for the top post.

Another leader that was tipped for the post is former party president Rajnath Singh, reportedly suggested by the RSS.  Advani reportedly didn't accept Singh's nomination, which was suggested as an alternative choice in place of Gadkari.

A formal notification of the presidential poll is expected on Monday, reported NDTV.