Nadda’s inclusion in NDA 3.0 sets the stage for BJP rejig | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Nadda’s inclusion in NDA 3.0 sets the stage for BJP rejig

Jun 10, 2024 05:15 AM IST

BJP President J.P. Nadda sworn in as Cabinet minister for second term, paving way for party reshuffle; new chief to be elected soon.

New Delhi Jagat Prakash Nadda, the 63-year-old president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was sworn in as a Cabinet minister on Sunday for his second stint in the Union Cabinet, setting the stage for an organisational rejig in the party.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader J. P. Nadda takes oath as the Cabinet Minister during the swearing-in ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader J. P. Nadda takes oath as the Cabinet Minister during the swearing-in ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI)

Nadda served as Union health & family welfare from 2014-19 during the first Modi government before taking over as party chief after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections -- first as working president and then as president from January 2020 onwards.

With his return to the Cabinet, a new BJP chief is expected to be elected soon since the party follows the principle of “one man, one post”. People aware of the matter said that meetings of party functionaries to discuss who could take over the mantle will be held in the next few days.

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Among the names doing the rounds so far are those of national general secretary Vinod Tawde, Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, former Rajya Sabha MP Om Prakash Mathur, and the party’s OBC morcha chief K Laxman. To be sure, given the BJP’s unpredictability when it comes to appointments -- be that or Union ministers or chief ministers in states -- other leaders could also be in the fray.

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“With elections coming up in Maharashtra and Haryana, the party is expected to make a few changes in key positions,” a party functionary aware of the developments said. “Many faces that were not accommodated in the government will be given positions in the party, such as (Hamirpur MP) Anurag Singh Thakur and Smriti Irani (who lost from Amethi).”

Nadda’s term as president came to an end in January, but the national executive committee extended his term till June in view of the Lok Sabha polls.

The leader from Himachal Pradesh, who cut his teeth in politics as a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological fount of the BJP, was moved to the organisation from the government after former chief Amit Shah was appointed as the Union home minister.

His appointment came months ahead of the Covid pandemic, which was followed by lockdowns and disruption of everyday life. As political work came to a grinding halt in the wake of protocols that barred gatherings, it fell on Nadda to devise a way of keeping the cadre motivated even as the party adhered to the laid down rules for social distancing and public health safety to cut transmissions.

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At a time when engagement with cadre became imperative -- at a time when hospitals were overrun and migrants were walking back home due to a lack of public transport over social distancing norms -- Nadda laid down the rules through the “Sangathan Hi Seva” mission that aimed to ensure the distribution of food, medicines and other essentials. Through the crisis, he also oversaw elections in states such as Bihar (2020) and West Bengal (2021).

Known to colleagues as a “soft-spoken”, “non-controversial” party chief, Nadda burnished his credentials as an organisational man. But electoral losses in a clutch of states, particularly his home state of Himachal Pradesh in 2022, also cast a shadow on his presidency.

A second person aware of the matter said that the views of the BJP’s ideological fount, the RSS, will be taken on board for picking the new president.

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