New beginning

Sticking to the norm of ‘one man, one post’, former Union Minister J P Nadda was appointed BJP’s working president during the party’s parliamentary board meeting Monday. The decision by BJP’s highest decision-making body was announced by former party president and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh after the meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. Shah will remain party’s national president. ‘J P Nadda will be party’s working president,’ Rajnath told reporters.

It is said the board requested Shah to continue till the party’s membership drive and organisational elections were completed but he pointed out that being the Union Home Minister he would be engaged in so many other matters. This is for the first time the party has appointed a working president. Shah’s tenure ends in December 2019 and he may not like to get an extension as the party has the principle of ‘one man, one post’, it is learnt. Nadda, currently BJP’s parliamentary board secretary, will continue as working president till BJP’s organisational elections are over, reports said, and indicated that he may succeed Shah.

Nadda, 58, was given the responsibility of Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in which the BJP bagged 62 out of the 80 seats in the politically-critical State. A three-time MLA, Nadda represents Himachal Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha and enjoys the confidence of the party top brass. He was the Health Minister in the Modi government in the previous term. The decision to appoint Nadda came days after the BJP at a meeting of its national office-bearers decided to carry out a membership drive to increase its members by 20 per cent followed by the party’s organisational polls. With violating rules for the sake of positions and power being the norm in other parties, the BJP has set an example by passing the leadership baton to Nadda. Will other parties follow this?

NT Bureau