The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is all set to get a new president today. The working president Jagat Prakash Nadda, according to sources is all set to replace Amit Shah from the top post, as the election for the party chief began in New Delhi on Monday.
Home Minister Amit Shah remained at the helm for five-and-a-half years, Nadda’s election will bring an end of Amit Shah era. BJP in the afternoon will end the process of election as Nadda will file his nomination for the post any time soon now.
Top party leaders, including Union ministers and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, will file nomination papers in support of his candidature, sources said, adding that he is likely to be elected unopposed.
A formal announcement regarding Nadda’s election as president will be made in the afternoon and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also arrive at the party headquarters to felicitate him. The fact that the announcement will be made a day earlier, is a clear indication there won’t be any election in the first place, as was speculated.
As BJP has stated that the announcement will come by afternoon, suggests there won’t be any one apart from JP Nadda, who is backed by Modi-Shah duo, will throw his hat into. Earlier the party through an official communique said that “if an election is at all necessary”, it will take place on Jan 21.
Meanwhile, all senior ministers are asked to be in the party office, on Monday.
The time for filing the nomination papers was 10.30 am. For the next hour, the filed nomination papers will be examined and another one hour till 2.30 pm will be provided to withdraw nominations, if any candidate wishes to. By, 2.30 pm, Nadda is all set to be declared the party chief.
Though, many believe, Shah will have the last say on all macro decisions like pre poll alliances or top organisational appointments, but will be free from daily monitoring of the organisation.
Shah himself wanted this, due to which Nadda was brought in as the working President of the party as key legislations like abrogation of Article 370, Triple Talaq and finally Citizenship Amendment Act meant Shah, who is the home minister as well, had to prioritize his works.
The party constitution mandates completion of election of at least 50 per cent of state Presidents for the election of national President to happen. In the last few days, the BJP has completed the election of a slew of state Presidents like in West Bengal, Nagaland among others.
The process of election of the national BJP President is quite elaborate and has been described in detail in the party constitution, which says that the national President shall be elected by an electoral college, comprising members of the national council and the state councils.
“Any 20 members of the electoral college of a state can jointly propose the name of a person, who has been an active member for four terms and has 15 years of membership, for the post of national President. Such joint proposal should come from not less then five states where elections have been completed for the national council. The consent of the candidate is necessary,” it says.
The BJP leader from Himachal Pradesh Nadda was appointed as the party’s working president in July, 2019.
In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Nadda was in-charge of the BJP’s election campaign in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, where the party faced a tough challenge from the grand alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The party won 62 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from handling crucial states for the BJP, Nadda was a cabinet minister in the first tenure of the Modi government and has been the member of the BJP’s top decision making body, the Parliamentary board.