Nadda front-runner for BJP president's post

Nadda front-runner for BJP president's post

Nadda front-runner for BJP president's post

BJP general secretary J.P. Nadda is among the front-runners to become the party president if Rajnath Singh joins the Narendra Modi government, a party leader said.

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leader said Nadda, Rajya Sabha MP from Himachal Pradesh, is known for his close proximity to Amit Shah, another party general secretary and a close confidante of Modi, and former party president Nitin Gadkari.

"Nadda is emerging as the best choice as he suits both the party top leadership and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)," a senior party leader told IANS Saturday in Shimla.

Starting his political career as a student leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), allied to the BJP, in 1978, Nadda had also worked both with Gadkari and Shah even in the party's youth wing - the Bharatiya Yuva Morcha - from 1991-94.

In the parliamentary election, Nadda played an important role in his home state Himachal to win all the four seats eventhough the Congress government was at the helm.

"Nadda was given more responsibilities in the elections -- right from selecting the candidates to ensuring their victory. He toured extensively all areas in the state," said the leader, who did not wish to be identified.

In the previous BJP government (2007-2012) in the state, Nadda was forced to resign as forest minister in 2010 owing to differences between him and then chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

He was then picked by Gadkari in his new team. He was made party's national general secretary. Nadda is also party's in-charge in Chhattisgarh.

Dhumal has said it would be a matter of pride for Himachal if Nadda was made BJP's national president.

"It will be a huge honour for a state like Himachal if Nadda gets the top post in the BJP," he told reporters in his hometown Hamirpur.