JP NADDA … Quiet yet scheming Himachal leader’s rise and rise in BJP

NEWS NADDA

NEW DELHI: Jagad Prakash Nadda’s elevation in the BJP as its working president, next only to the position of party president Amit Shah, was in the coming. Speculations were rife about this after his name did not figure in the new council of ministers of Narendra Modi which was sworn into office on May 30.
JP Nadda’s name was in circulation for the party president post even in 2014 when the BJP returned to power at the Centre with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. However, despite Nadda’s close association with the top brass in Nagpur, the choice then went to Modi’s close chum, Amit Shah.
As president, Amit Shah keeps doing an excellent job for the party. By building a strong organisational muscle and translating the good-will PM Modi earns for the party into electoral successes, Shah remains unchallenged in party. His present terms ends in December, and his elevation as home minister might mean he would step down  as president. It would be difficult to find such a dynamic replacement for Shah at BJP’s head.
JP Nadda, who entered public life as a student leader with the Jaiprakash Narayan movement of the 1970s, later got associated with the ABVP in Patna as he shifted his studies from Bihar to native Himachal Pradesh. Later, he headed the BJP Yuva Morcha. He was health minister in PM Modi’s previous council of ministers. He was brought to the front ranks of the BJP by Nitin Gadkari around year 2010 – both being strong Brahmin faces in the party. He was a member of the BJP Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making panel of the party. 

Nadda ably guided the BJP’s Lok Sabha election campaign in Uttar Pradesh this time, like what Shah did in UP in 2014. The BJP won 64 of the 80 LS seats from UP this time.
Under Gadkari, Nadda functioned as general secretary of the BJP. Before that he was forest minister in Himachal Pradesh.

NADDA’S ROLE IN PARTY

The idea of promoting Nadda to leadership position is also to keep the powerful Brahmin support for the saffron party intact, in view of the overpowering influence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a non-Brahmin, over the saffron party. BJP had in the past been a party of Brahmins and the trading community. AB Vajpayee, a Brahmin, and LK Advani, a Sindhi, were its towering leaders. After the new power equations came about through a political engineering at the behest of the RSS leadership, Modi came upfront. After becoming PM in 2014, Modi sought to convert the party into a more mass-based entity by drawing in OBC and Dalit support. The RSS is game with this, as Modi brings votes for the party to remain in power, as is proven in the present Lok Sabha polls as well. 

Amit Shah hails from an upper caste Hindu Vaishnav Bania business community in Gujarat.

Nanda has a polished face but is also known to be extremely cunning in matters of political manoeuvring, which he demonstrated time and again in politics in Himachal Pradesh. He was convent-educated, speaks English well, unlike many BJP leaders who are conversant mostly in Hindi. Nadda’s father was vice chancellor of Patna University during Nadda’s student days. –IHN-NN
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