New Delhi: With BJP organisational architect Amit Shah set to join the Cabinet, the decks are being cleared for the baton to be handed over to Health Minister J.P. Nadda as the new President.
Nadda is expected to work closely with Shah even after the latter demits office for the election whirligig simply doesn’t end.
Once the Union Budget is out of the way on July 10 (in all probability), then sometime in September this year, three states will go to the polls — Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana.
Nadda will then oversee the election campaign strategy. Thereafter there is a possibility of polls in Jammu and Kashmir and even a highly wobbly Karnataka where the coalition appears to be skating on thin ice. Early next year, the battle for Delhi will gain precedence over everything else.
Fifty nine-year-old Nadda is a Brahmin and a Rajya Sabha member who keeps a low profile but is also parliamentary board secretary of the BJP. Nadda is known as a master strategist in his party. The party had given him charge of Uttar Pradesh in the recently concluded hustings. The party bagged 62 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats. Apna Dal bagged two against a caste calculus driven combine of BSP and SP.
Educated at St. Xaviers School, Patna, Nadda thereafter did his B.A. from Patna College, Patna University and LL.B. from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. He is three time MLA in the Himachal Assembly. He came to the upper house from Himachal Pradesh and was appointed Minister in 2014.
He now has to meet the exacting standards set by Amit Shah. With the BJP securing a fresh beach head in the south in Telengana where it has won four seats along with 23 in Karnataka, Nadda is expected to focus on operation south to expand the BJP’s footprint and become truly pan Indian.
A confident Nadda during his first visit to Lucknow after being appointed Uttar Pradesh election in-charge in January this year had exuded confidence that the BJP will win 74 Lok Sabha seats out of 80 in Uttar Pradesh and downplayed the SP-BSP alliance in the state for the general elections.
At a meeting with senior office bearers of the party, Nadda, had predicted that the BJP would register a handsome win in the Lok Sabha polls and all records will be broken — “We shall increase our tally of Lok Sabha seats from the state by winning 74 seats, one more than last time.”
In the 2014 general elections, the BJP had won 71 Lok Sabha seats in the state and two other went to its ally — the Apna Dal. The BJP won 62 against a tough opposition while the alliance only managed 15.