Decision on new BJP president on hold

Decision on new BJP president on hold

A decision on appointing the new BJP president, which should have followed Rajnath Singh’s elevation as home minister, has been put on hold.

After the initial flurry of consultations, the RSS — the BJP’s ideological parent, has decided that top party leaders, who moved into the government, must first settle down with their ministerial tasks.

The decision came as an influential section rooted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s close political aide, Amit Shah, for the post. Shah had made a huge impact with his strategy for Uttar Pradesh in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls.

Other names that did the rounds include BJP general secretary J P Nadda and former Rajasthan BJP unit president, Om Mathur.

Nadda was seen as the most acceptable face, but some senior BJP leaders said Shah’s claim could not be ignored in the light of his performance in Uttar Pradesh as the election in-charge.

However, RSS bigwigs thought there was no need to rush through the matter as they too were busy with scheduled tours.

BJP sources said they expected the matter to be finalised in July when the prime minister was likely to carry out an expansion of his Cabinet, inducting more members.

Under the party’s ‘one man, one post’, Rajnath Singh should have quit when he was sworn in as home minister. “But it is not a hard-and-fast rule,” said a party functionary.

Party leaders cited exceptions to the rule, especially in case of L K Advani, who was Leader of Opposition as well as BJP president in 1989-90. In 1998, when Advani became home minister in the NDA government, he continued to hold charge as BJP president 

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