In a surprise decision, the BJP on Monday announced the appointment of senior leader and former union minister J P Nadda as Working President of the party, replacing Amit Shah, who has now entered the Cabinet.
Nadda’s appointment came at a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board held in the evening Lok Sabha concluded its proceedings on an opening day. The announcement was made by senior leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
“BJP has won several elections under the leadership of Amit Shah. But since the Prime Minister has appointed him the Home Minister, Amit Shah himself has said the responsibility of party president should be given to someone else. BJP Parliamentary board has selected J P Nadda as working president,” said Singh addressing a press conference after the Parliamentary board meeting.
The choice of 59-year-old Nadda, who was health minister in the first Modi government, has come as a bit of surprise as the party had indicated last week that it could take a call on the issue after the membership drive and organizational elections in the state will be over after about six months.
However, the names of Nadda, who is a brahmin and hails from Himachal Pradesh, and party General Secretary Bhupinder Yadav had started doing the rounds for the presidentship once the elections were over and Shah became a minister.
Nadda started his political career with the ABVP in Patna. On a ticket of the ABVP, he won election as Secretary, Patna university students union in 1977. Nadda was brought to the national team by Nitin Gadkari in 2010.
During the Lok Sabha Polls held in the year 1989, he was assigned a major responsibility as election in-charge of the BJP’s youth wing when he was just 29 years old. Moving ahead, just three years later in 1991, he was made National President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha at the young age of 31 years.
Later, he fought Assembly elections from his home state Himachal Pradesh and won three times. He has been a Cabinet Minister in the Himachal Pradesh for three terms – from 1993 to1998, 1998 to 2003 and then during 2007-2012 and handled ministries such as Forest, Environment, Science, and Technology
He was made a member of the BJP parliamentary board which is the highest decision-making body of the party and also a member of the central election committee that takes final decision for both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
Nadda was also chosen by Shah to steer BJP in the 2019 general elections in UP where he worked in close coordination with former Gujarat BJP minister Gordhan Zadaphia, and secured more than 50 percent of votes and 64 seats for the NDA. (ANI)