Who will head BJP now with Amit Shah certain to find Cabinet berth?

File photo of Amit Shah

Chennai: BJP president Amit Shah was hailed as the chief architect of the party’s massive win in 2014 backed by a Modi wave. When critics said it was just a lightning and it cannot strike twice, Shah came up with innovative strategies and made sure it was repeated in a bigger way in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Thanks to his round-the-clock efforts and Modi’s mass appeal, the BJP alone managed to cross the half-way mark winning 303 seats of the 542 constituencies that went to polls.

Interestingly, Amit Shah chose to jump into the poll bandwagon this time. He contested from Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat, a seat held by BJP stalwart L K Advani till then.

He managed a record win with a margin of over 3 lakh votes. And amidst reports that he may become a Cabinet Minister, the million dollar question that is doing the rounds among the media is – Who will head the BJP now? A few names are being tossed about. But the successor has plenty to fulfil.

Sources in the party say that stepping into Amit Shah’s shoes is no easy task. S/he has to work round-the-clock and live up to the expectations of millions of party workers across the nation.

Under Amit Shah’s leadership, the party grew in leaps and bounds. It not just returned to power but made inroads into several States that were considered impossible. It kept winning Assembly elections, too, barring Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where it, however, made a comeback in the Lok Sabha elections.

File photo of Nirmala Sitharaman

The biggest of all his achievements is repeating the magic in Uttar Pradesh, sweeping Delhi twice and making huge gains in eastern and northeastern States of India, especially the Mamata bastion of West Bengal.

The buzz is that among the names being considered is former Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s. Sources say that it would be a tactical move for it would be seen as empowering women.

Also, in Nirmala, they see a devout party cadre and a woman of steel who will take strong decisions. Interestingly, she hails from south India where, especially in Kerala and Tamilnadu, the BJP fared bad, they add.

However, a few say that it would be RSS that would have a final say in the issue. All eyes will be on the person who will succeed Amit Shah as next president. The wait may end soon.

M BHARAT KUMAR