JP Nadda — the Man Chosen by BJP to Fill in Amit Shah’s Shoes

BJP leader JP Nadda took over as the new party president on Monday, 20 January, after he emerged as the only candidate for the top post following the conclusion of nomination process at its headquarters in Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated Nadda later in the day.

Nadda, who was appointed as BJP's working president last June, took over from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was at a helm for an eventful five-and-a-half years. This was the period during which the party won its biggest majority in 2019 Lok Sabha election and expanded its footprint across the country, PTI reported.

Nadda’s name was proposed by the top party leaders, including Union ministers Shah, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, besides several chief ministers during the nomination process.

Nadda is expected to hold a meeting with chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of the states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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Decades Long Experience

Nadda's decades-long experience in the organisation, starting from student politics, proximity to the RSS and clean image are seen as his strengths.

Shah held a meeting with senior party leaders, including several Union ministers and chief ministers of the party-ruled states, on Sunday evening, according to PTI.

Though there was no official communication about what transpired, sources said the party leaders deliberated over the details of the election exercise.

Taking Over From Amit Shah

Senior BJP leader Radha Mohan Singh, who is in charge of the party's organisational poll process, said that nominations for the national president's election will be filed on 20 January, and a contest will take place the next day if required. The BJP has the convention of electing its president with consensus and without any contest, and there is little possibility that it will be any other way this time.

The election of a new president will bring to end incumbent Shah's tenure of over five-and-a-half years during which the BJP expanded its footprints across the country like never before and enjoyed its best phase in electoral contests despite suffering a few setbacks in state polls.

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With Shah joining the Modi 2.0 government as home minister, the BJP began the exercise for electing his successor as the party has the convention of ‘one person, one post’, according to PTI.

Nadda was appointed as the party's working president in July last year in an indication that the Himachal Pradesh leader was the likely choice for the top organisational job.  In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he was in-charge of the BJP's election campaign in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, where the party faced a tough challenge from the grand alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The party won 62 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.

Having risen through the saffron ranks, Nadda has long been a member of the BJP parliamentary board, its highest decision making body. He had served as a minister in the first Modi government.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)

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