BJP leaders begin consultations on new party chief

BJP leaders begin consultations on new party chief

Rajnath meets RSS top brass

BJP leaders begin consultations on new party chief

Two days after forming the government, the BJP swung into action to find a new president, with incumbent chief Rajnath Singh meeting the RSS top brass on Wednesday to build a consensus on a lead-er who would succeed him.

The move was imperative as Singh joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet and he cannot hold two posts, which goes against the party norm.

Singh met Suresh Soni, RSS main liaison man with the BJP, at Jhandewalan to discuss the organisational reshuffle, a result of many senior party leaders joining the Modi government.

RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav tweeted to confirm that Singh met Soni and not Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat. After his consultations with the RSS leader, Singh drove down to meet Modi to brief him on the Sangh’s views on the organisational changes.

Party sources said that the names of J P Nadda, Om Mathur and Amit Shah are doing the rounds for the president’s post. Party general secretary Nadda, who shot to prominence because of the support he got from former party chief Nitin Gadkari, finds favour with Singh as well. Nadda has had meetings with Modi where the two are understood to have discussed the issue of change of guard in the party.

Mathur, who was in-charge of the Gujarat Assembly elections last year, is also in contention owing to his proximity with Modi.

Though a section of the BJP is pushing for the candidature of Modi’s close aide Amit Shah for the top slot given his strong organisational skills – evident in the party sweeping polls in Uttar Pradesh – the fake encounter cases surrounding him may affect his chances.

Singh will have to tender his resignation before the parliamentary board, which will elect his replacement.

The organisational rejig is expected to throw up young leaders similar to Modi’s coronation that brought new faces. A BJP leader said it is important to have a president who will steer the party effectively as some of the states, including Haryana, will witness polls this year.

The party is unlikely to have a chief who can be assertive with Modi, believe party leaders.