BJP to start nationwide organisational rejig soon

BJP to start nationwide organisational rejig soon

New Delhi | The BJP is set to kickstart soon the process of wide organisational changes with the launch of a fresh membership drive, followed by an internal poll across states leading up to the election of a new party president.

Though the extended tenure of incumbent president J P Nadda ends on June 30, a recent amendment in the BJP's constitution has empowered its apex body, the Parliamentary Board, to take a call related to a president, including his term, in "emergency" situations.

Sources said the party's Parliamentary Board may extend Nadda's tenure till the election process for his replacement is complete. They, however, added that it is for the party's top brass to take the final call and they may appoint a "working president" till his replacement is elected.

Nadda's induction into the Union Cabinet as the minister for health and chemicals and fertilisers has necessitated the search for his replacement.

When Amit Shah, the BJP's president during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, moved to the government, Nadda was appointed its working president before being elected the party's full-fledged president in January 2020.

The precedent opens up the possibility of appointing a working president, more so as a full-time leader may be needed to shepherd the upcoming membership drive and elections in its organisational units, be it districts or states.

With assembly elections due in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Delhi in the coming months, a working president will help galvanise the organisation, the sources said.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision not to retain Nadda as a Cabinet minister in his second term was a clear indication that the seasoned leader will helm the party's vast organisational apparatus, the probable choices now are far from clear as most of the BJP's experienced leaders, who have been seen as likely choices, are part of the government.

The likes of Dharmendra Pradhan or Bhupender Yadav, who are solid organisation hands and were often spoken about as potential party presidents, have continued in the Modi government in its third term.

This suggests that the party may elevate someone from its state faces or one of its national general secretaries to the top post.

The shift of some BJP state presidents to governments, either at the Centre or the state, besides its electoral setback in a key state like Uttar Pradesh is likely to bring new faces in their place, the sources said.

The BJP's president in West Bengal Sukanta Majumdar has become a Union minister, while his Bihar counterpart Samrat Choudhary is a deputy chief minister in the state. Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini also heads the party in the state.

Rajasthan BJP president C P Joshi is likely to be replaced to balance the party's social coalition as the state's Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma is a Brahmin like him.

The party's dismal show in the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh has turned attention to its state president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary.

The BJP sources noted that organisational polls and changes were put on hold as the party focussed on the election campaign. The process will now begin in earnest, more so after its below-par showing in some states.

The BJP lost its majority in the Lok Sabha this time even though its alliance, the NDA, comfortably crossed the magic figure of 272.

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