Nadda set to replace Shah as exercise to elect BJP president begins
BJP leader J. P. Nadda is set to be elected as the new national president of the party as the election for the top post began in New Delhi on Monday.
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.
Nadda will succeed Amit Shah, who remained at the helm for five-and-a-half years.
Nadda's decades-long experience in the organisation, starting from student politics, proximity to the RSS and clean image are seen as his strengths.
Shah held a meeting with senior party leaders, including several Union ministers and chief ministers of the party-ruled states, on Sunday evening.
Though there was no official communication about what transpired, sources said the party leaders deliberated over the details of the election exercise.
Senior BJP leader Radha Mohan Singh, who is in charge of the party's organisational poll process, said that nominations for the national president's election will be filed on January 20, and a contest will take place the next day if required.
The BJP has the convention of electing its president with consensus and without any contest, and there is little possibility that it will be any other way this time.
The election of a new president will bring to end incumbent Shah's tenure of over five-and-a-half years during which the BJP expanded its footprints across the country like never before and enjoyed its best phase in electoral contests despite suffering a few setbacks in state polls.
With Shah joining the Modi 2.0 government as Union home minister, the BJP began the exercise for electing his successor as the party has the convention of 'one person, one post'.
Nadda was appointed as the party's working president in July last year in an indication that the Himachal Pradesh leader was the likely choice for the top organisational job.
In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he 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.
Having risen through the saffron ranks, Nadda has long been a member of the BJP parliamentary board, its highest decision making body. He had served as a minister in the first Modi government.