BJP national president JP Nadda speaks at a public meeting, at the Police parade ground in Silchar, Assam, on January 11. (FIle photo)
BJP national president JP Nadda speaks at a public meeting, at the Police parade ground in Silchar, Assam, on January 11. (FIle photo)

Nadda as BJP president: A look at one year in office

In the 12 months of being in the hot seat, JP Nadda can claim credit for electoral victories in the Bihar assembly elections, bypolls in 11 states; and eight local body elections
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 09:46 AM IST

After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in the fiercely contested Bihar assembly election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave credit for the win to party chief JP Nadda. At the BJP headquarters where the Prime Minister addressed a crowd that had gathered to celebrate the party’s success, Modi said the poll results are an outcome of the leadership of the party president and the strategies he made.

He then went on to describe how unlike the other parties where only a few can rise to the very top, the BJP is a party with a difference. “This is the party where the country‘s prime minister can chant ‘Nadda ji tum aage badho, hum tumhare saath hain,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s rousing reception and acknowledgement of Nadda’s leadership was seen as the final stamp of approval of his presidency. Since electoral wins are considered the hallmark of the party boss’s leadership and a measure of success, Nadda, in the 12 months of being in the hot seat can claim credit for electoral victories in the Bihar assembly elections, bypolls in 11 states; and eight local body elections.

“It was under Naddaji’s leadership that Kamal (lotus, also the BJP’s symbol) bloomed in Kashmir and spread to down south and the far northeast,” said former minister and national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.

Also read | JP Nadda to meet with party leaders, discuss preparations for West Bengal polls

To buttress his claims, he said from Arunachal Pradesh where the BJP established victory in 184 of the 242 zila panchayats, to Gujarat where the party won all eight seats in the bypolls and to by-election in Telangana, the BJP has performed well. “A big victory was in Uttar Pradesh bypoll, where the BJP won six of seven seats and in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation where the party created history by winning 48 seats, up from just four in the previous election,” said Hussain, who was given in-charge of overseeing the DDC election in Jammu and Kashmir. In this election, BJP won 75 seats.

It wasn’t however a smooth start for the 60-year-old, who started his political innings with the RSS’s student body, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Soon after he was appointed as the working president of the BJP in June 2019, with Amit Shah continuing as the party president, the BJP faced elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand. While it could not form the government in Maharashtra after a fallout with its oldest ally, the Shiv Sena, over power-sharing; the party lost power in Jharkhand and cobbled up a government in Haryana with support from the JJP. The party also could not wrest power from the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi in 2020.

Coronavirus

Winning elections was not the only challenge for the leader who cut his teeth in Bihar politics and moved to Himachal Pradesh. Months into his presidency, a global pandemic led to a grinding halt in every sphere. The BJP, which was known for its ‘boots on the ground’ approach, had to reinvent its political outreach. With party activity on hold and workers unable to congregate, it was a challenge to keep the political machinery rolling.

“The victory march that Amit Shah started has been continued by Nadda. But the biggest challenge he faced was the pandemic. Everything was shut. But he found a way. He took up the PM’s directions of ‘seva hi sangathan’ and ‘aapda mein avsar’ and came up with the idea of keeping the party workers connected digitally. Food and necessities were supplied to households across the country, a network was ready through digital connectivity even during the lockdown,” said Sanjay Mayukh, the national media co-head and an MLC from Bihar.

Sanjay Jaiswal, president of the Bihar unit, credits Nadda’s “feed the needy” programme, the insistence of reaching out to the people on the ground and the way he used the internet as the reasons that helped the party succeeded in Bihar. “He fought like a karyakarta (worker),” said Jaiswal.

Also read | BJP will protect Assam’s culture, language, identity, says Nadda in Silchar rally

Comparisons with Shah

A delay in announcing the new national team led to murmurs that Nadda would borrow from the Amit Shah playbook. A party colleague speaking on condition of anonymity said, “There has been no major change in the party in last one year. It is a continuation of what Shah started.”

This was countered by many others who pointed out that opportunity given to “new faces” is an indication that the Nadda “has stepped out of the shadows of Shah”.

“Just as Nitin Gadkari did during his tenure as president, Nadda has a mostly- new team in place. He has shown his political acumen by handling crisis in the party’s unit Rajasthan and Karnataka and the BJP’s fallout with the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal,” said another senior leader requesting anonymity.

Political commentator Sanjay Kumar of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) said Nadda‘s presidency has “been fairly decent” as he has performed well in two areas. “An indicator of performance is winning elections; he won the Bihar election, which was not easy because there was the 15 year anti-incumbency factor against Nitish Kumar. And the second achievement is that he has been able to undertake changes in the party structure without facing any criticism or rebellion,” Kumar said.

Challenges ahead

The challenges ahead for Nadda include the electoral battles in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Assam; and continuing to expand the reach of the party by inducting more members, winning more states and establishing its presence in the local bodies. He will also have to find a way to keep the flock of allies together, with SAD and Sena having broken ties, the BJP does not want to be seen as a party that cannot take allies along.

“He has already announced that he will be visiting each state for two days and will be leading the charge in WB along with Shah. But these elections will be the litmus test of his leadership,” said one of the functionaries quoted above.

National media head Anil Baluni, however, said the upcoming elections will not be the only pulpit to showcase Nadda’s leadership. “The party takes all elections, from the panchayat to Parliament, as a challenge and under his leadership, it will contest the upcoming state elections with its full might,” he said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Digital media includes intermediaries such as Twitter and Facebook, and publishers of news and current affairs content. It also includes so-called curators of such content.(Reuters file photo)
Digital media includes intermediaries such as Twitter and Facebook, and publishers of news and current affairs content. It also includes so-called curators of such content.(Reuters file photo)

Govt rules for online media to include takedown power

By Deeksha Bhardwaj
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:05 AM IST
Digital media, as defined in a document that lays out the government’s framework to regulate online content, will cover digitised content that can be transmitted over the internet or computer networks.
Close
Referring to the 2019 decision to scrap the special status of J&K, Pujani said: “We reiterate that the entire union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral and inalienable part of India."(AP file photo)
Referring to the 2019 decision to scrap the special status of J&K, Pujani said: “We reiterate that the entire union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral and inalienable part of India."(AP file photo)

‘Patron of terror’: India hits out at Pakistan at United Nations

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:48 AM IST
India’s “right of reply” to the Pakistani minister’s speech was delivered by Seema Pujani, second secretary in the permanent mission to the UN. She described Pakistan’s continued misuse of various platforms for “baseless and malicious propaganda against India is not new”.
Close
The government hopes to cover an estimated 10.5 million paddy growers this year, against last year’s 10.2 million.(PTI file photo)
The government hopes to cover an estimated 10.5 million paddy growers this year, against last year’s 10.2 million.(PTI file photo)

2020-21 likely to see record paddy procurement

By Zia Haq
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:36 AM IST
Paddy is the main summer staple that drives the incomes of millions of farmers. The ministry’s official figures show the government’s total procurement of summer paddy has touched 65.8 million tonnes until January 22 against the purchase of 56.5 million tonnes in the corresponding part of last year.
Close
Javadekar said that further steps for administrative work in the Union territory will be taken soon.(ANI Photo)
Javadekar said that further steps for administrative work in the Union territory will be taken soon.(ANI Photo)

Union Cabinet approves L-G proposal for President’s rule in Puducherry

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:25 AM IST
L-G Tamilisai Soundararajan recommended imposition of President’s Rule in Puducherry after the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies did not stake claim to form the government
Close
A view of Motera Stadium, the world's biggest cricket stadium. (ANI Photo)
A view of Motera Stadium, the world's biggest cricket stadium. (ANI Photo)

BJP, Congress trade barbs over Motera stadium renaming

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:21 AM IST
At a cabinet briefing, union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad also hit out at the Congress and wondered if the top Congress leaders such as Sonia or Rahul Gandhi have even bothered to visit the world’s tallest statue, that of Sardar Patel, at Kevadiya in Gujarat.
Close
Facebook said it cannot be compelled by any committee of the parliament or the state assembly to participate in an inquiry and that its move to appear before a parliamentary panel on information technology last month was “a business decision”.(Reuters Photo)
Facebook said it cannot be compelled by any committee of the parliament or the state assembly to participate in an inquiry and that its move to appear before a parliamentary panel on information technology last month was “a business decision”.(Reuters Photo)

Facebook now says it’s not obligated to appear before Parliamentary panels

By Utkarsh Anand, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:05 AM IST
The exchange and Facebook’s contention that it could choose not to appear before any institution, as long as it follows the laws, is interesting because it comes at a time when the Union government is readying a framework to regulate social media and digital media companies.
Close
Shantanu Muluk, a climate activist, arrives at National Cyber Forensic Lab for an investigation, in New Delhi, India, February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi(REUTERS)
Shantanu Muluk, a climate activist, arrives at National Cyber Forensic Lab for an investigation, in New Delhi, India, February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi(REUTERS)

Toolkit case: Shantanu Muluk’s bail plea hearing today

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:40 AM IST
Additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana, who granted bail to Ravi on Tuesday, posted Muluk’s bail application for arguments on Thursday. Muluk had got transit bail from the Bombay high court on February 16 for a period of 10 days.
Close
In two parallel investigations, the CBI is also probing a multi-crore coal smuggling scam. (FILE PHOTO)
In two parallel investigations, the CBI is also probing a multi-crore coal smuggling scam. (FILE PHOTO)

CBI names TMC youth leader in charge-sheet of cattle smuggling case

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:17 AM IST
  • Earlier this month, CBI in the first charge-sheet in the case had named BSF Commandant Satish Kumar and Murshidabad-based businessman Enamul Haque along with five others for their alleged involvement in cattle smuggling across the India-Bangladesh border.
Close
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde said that even under the existing system, Magistrates are made witnesses during trial as they record dying declaration and hold test identification parade. (HT PHOTO).
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde said that even under the existing system, Magistrates are made witnesses during trial as they record dying declaration and hold test identification parade. (HT PHOTO).

Top court proposes cadre of magistrates to fill gaps in police investigation

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:55 PM IST
  • The bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat apart from Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde were of the view that magistrates should play a more “intrusive” role in investigation.
Close
Police said the accused surrendered after killing the woman.(Representational Photo/Getty Images)
Police said the accused surrendered after killing the woman.(Representational Photo/Getty Images)

College student in Andhra Pradesh killed for rejecting marriage proposal

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:44 PM IST
  • Police said the accused and the victim were in a relationship for a year, but of late she had been avoiding him.
Close
Currently, the Railways have operationalized almost 65 per cent of Mail/Express trains and over 90 per cent of suburban services as compared to pre lockdown times. (HT PHOTO).
Currently, the Railways have operationalized almost 65 per cent of Mail/Express trains and over 90 per cent of suburban services as compared to pre lockdown times. (HT PHOTO).

Higher fares for short distance trains to discourage needless travel: Railways

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:31 PM IST
  • The national carrier at present is operating only special passenger trains since the curbs on lockdown were eased. Regular passenger trains have been suspended since March 25, 2020.
Close
When asked about the new strains of the virus that have been found in several parts of the country, Guleria said authorities are closely monitoring the situation.(ANI photo)
When asked about the new strains of the virus that have been found in several parts of the country, Guleria said authorities are closely monitoring the situation.(ANI photo)

New strains not more infectious, need to aggressively monitor situation: Guleria

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:28 PM IST
"Currently we have vaccines with efficacy of 70 per cent , 80 per cent, 90 per cent so even if there is slight fall in efficacy they will still be effective in preventing the virus from further spreading," Guleria told in an interview to ANI.
Close
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel recovered 2 Improvised Explosive Devices (1 pressure cooker and 1 pipe type) placed in a series manner near Dhanora, Narayanpur on Tuesday. (ANI photo)
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel recovered 2 Improvised Explosive Devices (1 pressure cooker and 1 pipe type) placed in a series manner near Dhanora, Narayanpur on Tuesday. (ANI photo)

2 security personnel killed in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur in Maoist attacks

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:16 PM IST
  • Both the casualties took place due to IED blasts.
Close
Motera Stadium is the world's largest cricket stadium. (PTI)
Motera Stadium is the world's largest cricket stadium. (PTI)

Govt clarifies on controversy over Motera stadium being named after PM

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:22 PM IST
Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind, is part of a larger complex, named 'Sardar Patel Sports Complex'.
Close
Twitter ignored orders to remove content over farmers' protests.(Reuters)
Twitter ignored orders to remove content over farmers' protests.(Reuters)

India plans new social media controls after Twitter face-off

Reuters, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:03 PM IST
The latest draft rules say companies should remove the content as early as possible, but no later than 36 hours, after a government or legal order.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP