J P Nadda appointed BJP's working president, Amit Shah to remain party chief
The fifty-nine-year old BJP leader is a Rajya Sabha member, who is known for keeping a low profile. He is the parliamentary board secretary of the BJP and is known as a master strategist amongst the party ranks.
Fifty-eight-year-old Nadda hails from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra and belongs to the Brahmin community. He was a minister in Prem Kumar Dhumal’s ministry and moved to Delhi as national general secretary ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections during Rajnath Singh’s tenure as BJP president.
Briefing the media after the parliamentary board meeting, defence minister Rajnath Singh said: “When the new Cabinet was constituted, the prime minister gave Amit Shah the responsibility of the home ministry. Amitji suggested that since he will be occupied with ministerial work, it would be better if somebody else was given the responsibility of party chief.” The panel, however, requested that Shah continue till the party membership drive and organisational elections were completed, Singh said. “But following Amitji’s request, the board unanimously decided to have Jagat Prakash Nadda as the working president of the party,” Singh said.
Nadda is a Rajya Sabha member from his home state and was also BJP parliamentary board secretary when he was chosen working president. The decision to appoint Nadda comes ahead of the BJP membership drive and subsequent organisational elections which begins on July 6. He was the front-runner to replace Shah. The view gained ground after he was not re-inducted as Union minister in the new government.
Shah’s elevation as party president followed his impressive performance as general secretary for Uttar Pradesh in 2014. BJP won 71 out of 80 seats, while ally Apna Dal won two more, leaving just seven seats for rivals. Nadda played a similar role for BJP in 2019 elections, though the Modi wave and Shah’s involvement added to the BJP’s successful effort in almost repeating the 2014 feat.
Shah had taken over from Singh as BJP chief in August 2014 and was elected for three years in January 2015. In 2018, BJP postponed organisational elections as the Lok Sabha polls were only months away and Shah was asked to continue as party chief. He will continue as BJP president but Nadda will handle the day-to-day working of the party carrying out Shah’s instructions.