JP Nadda: Former health minister's appointment as working president of the party has been seen by many as a first step in the direction of his formal elevation as the party president.
JP Nadda appointed working president: BJP Parliamentary board has appointed former health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda as the working president of the party. It was a challenge for the Bhartiya Janata Party to find a leader to replace Amit Shah after he was inducted in Union cabinet as home minister last month. His appointment as working president is seen by many as the first step in the direction of his formal appointment as new BJP president when the party completes its organisational polls by the end of the year.
JP Nadda was among the front runners that also included leaders like Rajya Sabha member Bhupender Yadav and the party general secretary Ram Madhav among others.
Nadda was inducted as health minister in November 2014 in the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had succeeded then health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan following the allegation of former’s interference in the functioning of AIIMS by Sanjiv Chaturvedy, the then chief vigilence officer of the hospital. However, these allegations did not deter Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appoint him in the same portfolio overlooking his flagship schemes in the health sector. It showed the confidence the party high command has in him.
Nadda was crucial in implementing two crucial health schemes of Prime Minister Modi – Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan for lactating and expecting mothers and Ayushman Bharat that aims to provide free treatment to nearly 50 crore poor people in the country.
Nadda as an organisation man
“Nadda ji has started off with Akhil Bhartiya Parishad. He has toured the entire country as ABVP worker and he knows both old and new party workers and gels very well with them, ” said BJP’s national spokesperson Bijay Sonkar Shashtri.
Jagat Prakash Nadda was BJP in-charge of Uttar Pradesh and instrumental in repeating the party’s success in 2019 Lok Sabha elections despite an alliance of two powerful regional parties – Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.
Nadda was also in-charge of Chhattisgarh in 2013 assembly that saw the party win the third consecutive victory in the state.
Challenges before Nadda
The party was able to consolidate its position in north-east India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah. However, southern states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana remain a challenge.
“Amit Shah Ji has created a strong network and party organisation in southern states. He inducted a large number of new party workers. Now it is for Nadda Ji to further strengthen the party machinery in these states and repeat the party’s electoral success of north-east in sourthern states as well,” Bijay Sonkar Shashtri told Financial Express Online.
For Nadda, the immediate challenge is to ensure BJP’s victory in three poll going states in 2019. Assembly elections will be held in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana later this year. BJP is in power in all three states, in Maharashtra it shares power with its oldest ally Shiv Sena.