The BJP is planning a role for Union minister of health and family welfare, Jagat Prakash Nadda, in Himachal Pradesh, ahead of the assembly election in the hill state later this year.
“Nadda could be appointed president of Himachal Pradesh BJP after the elections in five states are over,” a BJP leader privy to the matter told HT. Results of the assembly election will be announced on March 11. Sources said Nadda will continue to remain a union minister while heading the BJP in Himachal Pradesh.
Nadda was unavailable for comments.
His return to state politics could mark a generational change in Himachal Pradesh where former chief ministers Prem Kumar Dhumal (72) and Shanta Kumar (82) have been BJP’s face for several years. Nadda is 56 and considered close to the RSS leadership. He was closely associated with ABVP, RSS’ students wing, in the national capital during student days.
In appointing him as the president of the state unit, then BJP leadership wants to signal its desire to look beyond the Prem Kumar Dhumal-Shanta Kumar combine, who are seen as arch rivals in state politics. A leader who is not seen as a mass leader, Nadda could never step out of the shadow of two veterans and moved to national politics when Nitin Gadkari was appointed BJP’s national president in 2010. At present, he is a Rajya Sabha MP.
His name was also in contention for the BJP president’s post in 2014 after Rajnath Singh joined the Union council of minister, but lost to Amit Shah.