BJP may face talent crunch, with leaders now in Team Modi

BJP may face talent crunch, with leaders now in Team Modi

BJP may face talent crunch, with leaders now in Team Modi

Prime minister Narendra Modi's move to further bolster his cabinet Sunday with party leaders with an established track record may present BJP president Amit Shah with a problem of sorts.

With leaders who are household names like Rajiv Pratap Rudy, J.P. Nadda, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who were formerly engaged in organisational work for the Bharatiya Janata Patry, now part of the central government apparatus, Shah will have to work overtime to both find replacements for them, as well as groom them in order to maintain the BJP's curve of ascent.

The party for one believes that there are capable individuals in its rank and file who can fill the vacuum which has been created with its key office-bearers drafted for discharging governmental responsibilities.

"When a vacancy arises in the party, there are many capable people who can be elevated to that post," BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told IANS.
Rao's optimism to an extent mirrors the goings-on in Goa over the last few days, where the elevation of now former chief minister Parrikar to the union cabinet, resulted in clamour from at least three claimant's to the chief ministerial throne.

It is another matter, however, that in the absence of a clear second line of leadership and dearth of grooming for a couple of decades, the state has no leader who can match up to Parrikar's stature as far as the state unit is concerned.

Political analysts have also suggested that Modi's decision to pick state leaders like Parrikar and his including of a non-party candidate like Suresh Prabhu, a former union cabinet minister and a chartered accountant with a clean image, indicates dearth of talent as well as credibility in the BJP's national talent-pool.

"As we have a BJP government at the Centre, there are a lot of challenges and work for the government. We need our leaders for that," Rao explains.
It is not just the party alone, Rao further says, which is responsible for mass outreach.

"When leaders work as ministers and reach out to people, it helps the party," he adds.

But this will not be the first time that the team of Modi and Shah would have had to overcome adversity. The duo, working in tandem, as party functionaries and as part of the BJP's government in Gujarat, created a grassroots network from scratch in the mid-90s.

Neerja Chowdhury, a senior journalist, has confidence in the ability of the Modi-Shah duo to spot and groom talent in every state and that the harvesting of leaders from the party into the government fold won't make a big difference.

"With Amit Shah in the lead, who, along with Modi is identifying leadership and promoting people in every state, it must not make a huge difference," she says.
She also prefers to call the cabinet expansion more of a political exercise with "eyes on election, caste and communities" ahead of the elections coming up in several states.