Calendar room for Amit Shah till three-state polls

The road map is being seen as a sign that was in no hurry to give-up the party charge

  • Published 12.06.19, 5:48 AM
  • Updated 12.06.19, 5:48 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Amit Shah Picture by PTI

BJP president Amit Shah has called a meeting of all national office-bearers and state presidents of the party on Thursday to prepare the calendar for the organisational polls that would finally lead to the election of a new party president.

The road map is being seen as a sign that Shah was in no hurry to give up the party charge despite taking over as home minister.

“The party office-bearers’ meeting will draw up the detailed election calendar. The entire process leading to the election of a new president is likely to be over by December,” a BJP general secretary said.

Asked whether the party would continue with Shah as party president till the long-drawn election process is completed or whether it will appoint a new president, the leader refrained from a direct reply.

“This call has to be taken by the parliamentary board, the highest decision-making body of the party. Amitbhai can continue till a new president is elected or a new president can be appointed by the parliamentary board,” he said.

Shah’s three-year term as party president ended in January this year but he was allowed to continue in view of the general election. Party leaders said that the one-man, one-post convention being followed in the party would not allow Shah to continue as party president after joining the government as home minister.

“A new president has to be appointed. Amitbhai can’t continue to hold the party responsibility as home minister. But when is the question,” another BJP leader said.

In the absence of any clear indication from the leadership, most party leaders are not in a position to give a clear answer to this question.

Internally, however, party leaders said there was a sense that Shah would continue to hold the responsibility till December, by when the Assembly polls in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana would be held. Shah had recently summoned a meeting of the party’s office-bearers from these three states.

The organisational polls are a long-drawn affair. It starts with a fresh membership drive that consumes a couple of months. Then the elections to sub-divisional party organisations are held, followed by that to districts, states and the national post.

“The election of the national president conventionally is done by consensus after organisational polls in at least 50 per cent of the states and Union territories are over,” a BJP leader said. This leader did not rule out the option of a working president being appointed in the near future, allowing Shah some respite from the day-to-day affairs of the party.

Two leaders, former health minister J.P. Nadda and general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, are said to be in contention for the top party post. Party leaders said the choice of Shah would prevail.