BJP’s new challenge: Who will succeed master strategist Amit Shah



Next BJP President! After BJPs resounding victory in recently concluded Lok Sabha election, the party is grappling with another challenge: to find a face that can lead the party as BJP President Amit Shahs term is coming to end. Shah was appointed the party president in July 2014 for the remainder term of then President Rajnath Singh after he joined the Modi cabinet. In January 2016, he was appointed for full three year term that ended early this year, however, the party gave him extension till the conclusion of Lok Sabha poll. BJPs decision to field Shah from Gandhi Nagar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat, the seat held by BJP veteran and former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, was a big symbolic move as it was considered the seat of number two in the Vajpayee government. After his resounding victory from Gandhi Nagar seat by over 5.7 lakh votes, it is widely speculated in the party circle that Shah can be given some important portfolio by Prime Minister Modi. READ ALSO: How BJP Then he had a winning streak after his appointment as the party President as the BJP continued to win assembly after assembly elections like Maharasthra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and north-eastern states like Assam and Tripura. Under his watch, the party expanded considerably but also suffered electoral losses in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in recent years. Who next BJP has several leaders with strong organisational skills. These second rung leaders have been groomed by the party high command to take leadership role in the organisation like Jagat Prakash Nadda and Bhupender Yadav. According to sources in the party, these two leaders are among the probables in case Amit Shah joins Modi 2.0 cabinet. READ ALSO: Murmurs of discontent against Rahul Gandhi as Congress suffers back-to-back Lok Sabha defeats Jagat Prakash Nadda Fifty-eight year old JP Nadda was given the responsibility of union health ministry in November 2014 by replacing Dr Harsh Vardhan who was shifted to the ministry of science. Nadda, who hails from Himachal Pradesh is considered close to the BJPs top brass. He was also among the hopefuls when BJP won a landslide majority in Himachal Pradesh in 2017 but the party high command decided to retain him in Delhi. As health minister, Nadda was responsible for implementing Prime Minister Narendra Modis flagship scheme like Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan for lactating and expecting mothers and above all Ayushman Bharat aimed at providing free of cost treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh to 10 crore families. Nadda also played crucial role in recently concluded Lok Sabha election as he was made in charge of the partys central election committee. Bhupender Yadav Forty-nine year old Rajya Sabha member who hails from Rajasthan is considered the partys chief strategist about the constitutional matters in the Parliament. Bhupender Yadav played crucial role in the passage of constitutional amendment bill to provide 10% quota to upper caste candidates in admission in institutions of higher learning and government jobs. READ ALSO: Why Rahul Gandhi tried to overshadow PM Modi Bhupender Yadav is considered one of the most trusted aides of the party president Amit Shah. Other probables According to some party sources, BJP can also appoint a women leader or somebody from South India to expand the partys base there. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman fits in the bill as per this criteria. According to some sources, the party general secretary Ram Madhav can also be considered for the post. Ram Madhav was the partys point man in Kashmir as he stitched an alliance with PDP in 2015 to form first ever BJP coalition government in the Muslim majority border state. Fifty-four year old Ram Madhav was a member of national executive of BJPs parental organisation RSS. Madhav also helped the party to expand in north-eastern states of Assam, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh among others. READ ALSO: Why a proposed Congress-AAP alliance in Delhi was no match to BJP