Jagat Prakash Nadda was elected unopposed as the BJP’s national president on Monday, 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 is seen as an affable and low-key politician who enjoys the trust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS — the BJP’s ideological mentor. He is largely expected to continue with the course it took under Shah with Modi laying out the broader agenda.
The Delhi assembly election is the first challenge for Nadda, who has been touring the capital extensively as the Bharatiya Janata Party works overtime to oust the Aam Aadmi Party from power.
BJP leader Radha Mohan Singh, who was the incharge of the organisational election process, made the announcement of Nadda’s election as the party’s 11th president after he emerged as the only nominee in the fray.
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 body, and veterans like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
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.
BJP chief ministers like Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh and Vijay Rupani of Gujarat were also at the party headquarters to endorse his bid.
Nadda’s elevation was on expected lines since his appointment as the BJP working president last June after Shah joined the Modi government as the home minister. The BJP has traditionally abided by the norm of ‘one party one post’.
BJP leaders hailed the appointment, expressing confidence that the party would achieve new successes under his leadership.
Shah congratulated Nadda and expressed confidence that under the new BJP president and the guidance of Modi, the party will scale new heights of success and grow from strength to strength.
Wishing Nadda a successful tenure, Rajnath Singh said: “I am confident the party will achieve new glory and success under his leadership. Known for his organisational experience Naddaji has always been an asset to the party.”
Gadkari said the elevation of Nadda, who started as a common party worker and rose through its ranks, shows that the BJP was an organisation of workers unlike parties run by dynasties.
Nadda, considered an affable and accessible politician, enjoys good rapport with all top party leaders.
He is seen as a seasoned organisation man, who was associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) from his college days before joining the youth wing of the BJP and rising through its ranks.
Nadda has also served as a minister in the BJP governments in Himachal Pradesh and at the Centre.
He has also been in-charge of his party’s campaigns in a number of states, including in Uttar Pradesh, during the 2019 Lok Sabha election.