New Delhi: The BJP parliamentary board — the party’s highest decision-making body — on Monday appointed former Union minister J.P. Nadda as its working president. Union home minister Amit Shah will continue to remain the party president and oversee the Assembly polls that are due by the end of this year. It is for the first time that the BJP has appointed a working president. Mr Nadda, a Rajya Sabha MP and a former Union health minister, was the party’s election in-charge for Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls, where the party won 62 of the 80 parliamentary seats in the state.
The parliamentary board meeting, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took the decision that was announced by defence minister and former party president Rajnath Singh after the meeting.
Congratulating Mr Nadda, the PM tweeted that he “is a diligent ‘karyakarta’ (worker) of the party, who has risen through the ranks due to his hard work and organisational skills. Humble and affable, he is widely respected across the BJP family.”
Mr Nadda’s appointment comes days after the BJP had announced that BJP chief Amit Shah will continue in the position now as the party is set to launch its membership drive from next month and will also hold organisational polls. Though the BJP follows the principle of “one man, one post”, the central leadership was in favour of Mr Shah continuing to lead the party till the key Assembly polls, scheduled by the end of this year, are over.
Mr Shah’s tenure as BJP chief will end in December 2019 and speculation is rife that he may not prefer to get an extension due to the “one man, one post” principle, and Mr Nadda could then succeed him.
Briefing the media, Mr Singh said: “The BJP won several elections under the leadership of Amit Shah. But since the Prime Minster appointed him home minister, Mr Shah himself said that the responsibility of party president should be given to someone else. The BJP parliamentary board has selected J.P. Nadda as working president... He will remain working president till the BJP’s membership drive and organisational elections are over.”
Other than the PM, Mr Shah, Mr Singh and Mr Nadda, the meeting was also attended by Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Thawarchand Gehlot, former Union minter Sushma Swaraj, BJP national vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan and general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal.