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JP Nadda rode on UP success to working president chair

Nadda camped in UP for more than four months, visited and spent a night in nearly each of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

, ET Bureau|
Jun 19, 2019, 08.04 AM IST
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Nadda was made the BJP in-charge in January, after Jai Ram Thakur was made the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Nadda’s home state, Himachal Pradesh, almost a year earlier.
NEW DELHI: JP Nadda’s performance as the BJP’s in-charge in Uttar Pradesh, where the party performed impressively in the recent Lok Sabha polls despite the coming together of the major regional parties, was an important factor in his elevation as the party’s working president, said people aware of the matter.

Nadda camped in UP for more than four months, visited and spent a night in nearly each of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state and used his wide experience as an organisation man to hold long deliberations with party workers, remove any unhappiness they nursed and motivate them to take on the alliance on the other side, senior state BJP leaders told ET.

“This has set a precedent that whoever comes to UP and performs, gets rewarded in Delhi,” said one of the leaders, who did not wish to be identified. “Earlier, Amit Shah became BJP president after delivering the biggest state to the BJP in 2014 as the UP in-charge, and now JP Nadda has followed in his footsteps.”

Nadda was made the BJP in-charge in January, after Jai Ram Thakur was made the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Nadda’s home state, Himachal Pradesh, almost a year earlier.

Another BJP functionary said Nadda “gave his full time” to UP unlike the Congress in-charges such as Jyotiraditya Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and that this contributed to the stark contrast in the outcomes for the two parties.

“He was always available for workers – be it in the BJP office in Lucknow or in the districts when he visited. This is an important quality for a party leader,” the BJP functionary said.

Moreover, the message from the top went down the line clearly, stressing on the implementation of schemes as the baseline of the campaign, said BJP members. Nadda, they said, dwelt on this at length in every party or public meeting he held in the state. “Nadda’s brief from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah was clear – BJP’s campaign has to focus on the excellent delivery of government schemes on the ground in UP. Being a Union minister (for health) himself, he was able to make this message a central part of the BJP campaign, and it clicked, defeating the caste-pitch of the alliance on the other side,” said a senior BJP leader.

Nadda’s affable persona also helped, said party members. “There was some concern among BJP workers after the alliance firmed up on the other side,” said a party functionary. “Nadda held long meetings with workers in each of the six regions of the state and used his long experience to listen to them at length and remove their apprehensions. Any misunderstanding was removed and the energy among the workers went up.”

Other leaders also spoke of the “good teamwork” Nadda showed with his three co-in charges in the state – Narottam Mishra, Govardhan Zadaphia and Dushyant Gautam. Another key responsibility was planning and monitoring of the poll strategy, and scheduling of rallies and roadshows. No BJP rally or public event got cancelled, proving that the campaign was managed well.
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