Nadda takes BJP reins

HP stalwart sets target: ‘Some states left, aim to be there’

Nadda takes BJP reins

Home Minister Amit Shah greets BJP’s new chief JP Nadda as PM Narendra Modi looks on. Manas Ranjan Bhui

TNS and PTI

New Delhi, January 20

Jagat Prakash Nadda on Monday was elected unopposed as the BJP’s national president, taking over the reins from Amit Shah whose tenure of five and a half years saw the party turning into a formidable election-winning machinery despite occasional setbacks.

The 59-year-old leader from Himachal Pradesh, seen as an affable and low-key politician, enjoys the trust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS — the BJP’s ideological mentor.


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59-yr-old Began political journey with ABVP

  • JP Nadda kicked off his political career as a student leader of the ABVP in 1978 in Bihar
  • He lost the Himachal Pradesh Assembly poll in 2003, but won in 2007 and was appointed the state Forest Minister
  • He arrived on the national political scene in 2010 after being picked by then BJP chief Nitin Gadkari to join his team

  • The low-key leader was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012; and in 2014 he was inducted into the Union Cabinet as the Health Minister

Taking over at a time when the party, despite its unprecedented win in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll, suffered setbacks, including below par performances in Haryana and Maharashtra, besides losing Jharkhand, Nadda will have to work on the electoral strategy without causing too many disruptions to improve the BJP’s performance.

Nadda’s election as the 11th president of the BJP was announced by Radha Mohan Singh, incharge of the organisational election process. Nadda will have a three-year tenure. Modi later arrived at the party headquarters to felicitate the newly elected president at a ceremony that was attended by members of the BJP parliamentary board, its highest decision-making body, and veterans like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

Describing Nadda as an old colleague, the PM said, “When I handled the party organisation, he was looking after the Yuva Morcha.” Asking the party leaders and workers to support Nadda, Modi said: “His leadership will give us new energy and inspiration.” Exhorting party workers to be ready to face more challenges in the coming days, Modi said direct communication with the masses had always been the party’s strength.

Shah asserted that the party will benefit from Nadda organisational skills and experience and will set new records.

Earlier, Shah was joined by senior party leaders, including Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, besides several functionaries from state units in filing nominations in support of Nadda.

Nadda set the target of winning power in the states where his party had not yet registered electoral success.

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