BJP president Rajnath Singh’s new team of office-bearers is likely to be announced on Sunday, with all eyes on the expected reinstatement of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to the party’s powerful parliamentary board after a gap of six years.
Senior BJP leader LK Advani with Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar. PTI Photo
The anticipated move — which many see most likely — is being seen as a marker of Modi’s growing clout within party circles and as a sign of his soft elevation to national politics.
While the party’s rank and file wants Modi to be declared the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, the party wants a subtler launch so as not to irk ally, Janata Dal (United). While his reinstatement to the party’s parliamentary board is being seen as the first step towards a national role, the second step is likely to be his future promotion as chief of the party’s campaign committee.
Former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah is likely to be elevated to the post of general secretary to please Modi.
Shah had to quit as minister after being accused of being behind the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh. Another leader likely to be appointed to the post is Varun Gandhi. Ram Lal, Ananth Kumar and JP Nadda are expected to continue as general secretaries. Sources claimed there was disagreement over some options. It is being said that Singh has to decide between Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Radha Mohan Singh; Dharmendra Pradhan and Murlidhar Rao; and Uma Bharti and Prabhat Jha as general secretaries.
However, all eyes are going to be on Modi. While party leaders are silent on whether a decision to name Modi as the party’s contender for the top post will be taken any time before the elections, many leaders claim that he has emerged as the choice of party workers across India.