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JP Nadda likely to step into Amit Shah's shoes as BJP chief

Jagat Prakash Nadda, health minister in the previous government, is the front-runner for the post.

May 31, 2019, 07.47 AM IST
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Recently, Nadda was Lok Sabha election incharge of UP, a role that Shah played in 2014.
New Delhi: BJP will have to elect a new president, as incumbent Amit Shah has been inducted into PM Modi’s Cabinet, going by the ‘one man one post’ principle the party usually follows. The BJP rank and file expect the replacement to be someone who has the complete trust of Modi and Shah.

Jagat Prakash Nadda, health minister in the previous government, is the front-runner for the post. He was tipped to become the party chief in 2014 too, when the RSS had expressed the view that the PM and the BJP chief should not be from the same state. However, Modi had the last word on the issue.

Nadda, who moved to the Centre following differences with Himachal CM PK Dhumal in whose ministry he was a Cabinet minister, is known as a good organisation man. Not one to make any controversial move or act brazenly, Nadda has the style of treading cautiously to get things done. Both Modi and Shah have an implicit trust in him.

He served as a BJP general secretary in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and was stationed at the party headquarters at Ashoka Road during that campaign. Later, he handled the Maharashtra assembly elections. He was then inducted into the Modi Cabinet, a few months later, and replaced Harsh Vardhan as the health minister.

Recently, Nadda was Lok Sabha election incharge of UP, a role that Shah played in 2014. While Shah delivered 71+2 seats out of 80 in UP, five years ago, Nadda worked low-key with others but managed to minimise losses despite the SP-BSP alliance. The party won 61 seats, capitalising on another Modi wave. History will repeat itself if Nadda becomes BJP chief, the way Shah did after an impressive stint in UP in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, who has worked assiduously for the party in various assembly and Lok Sabha polls, also stands a strong chance of becoming the next party chief. He has been in charge of Bihar and Gujarat. Yadav was instrumental in stitching together the alliance with JDU and worked towards finalising the seat-sharing agreement with Arun Jaitley and Shah putting in the final touches. He prepared the blue-print with Shah for BJP state-wise strategy for the 2019 general election.

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