BJP likely to see a rejig

BJP likely to see a rejig

The BJP may have to reshuffle its party set-up following Prime Minister Narendra Modi expanding his Cabinet, as important vice presidents and general secretaries move into the Union government.

Modi took away five leaders—vice-presidents Bandaru Dattatreya and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and general secretaries J P Nadda, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Ram Shankar Katheria—who had been assigned important party tasks since his close confidante Amit Shah took over as BJP president in August.  The vacancies will push the party to look for fresh talent in a shrinking pool of quality leaders.

However, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said: “When a vacancy arises in the party, there are many capable people who can be elevated to that post.”  
BJP sources said Nadda and Rudy have been given Cabinet berths in recognition of their efforts in organisational work, especially for the Maharashtra Assembly polls, where the party did well even after snapping ties with the Shiv Sena.  Of the two, soft-spoken Nadda had become an important party figure through Shah’s strategy, as he was helping untangle knots the organisation would encounter.

The confidence he enjoyed from Modi and Shah was evident when he was put in charge of the state of Maharashtra.

It is learnt that Modi had to convince Shah—both were huddled for hours on Saturday evening at the prime minister's office-cum-residence at 7 Race Course Road—to take Nadda out of the organisation. 

Nadda himself had till recently been denying any move into the Cabinet, parrying repeated media queries with: “Don’t I look good here?”

Modi went ahead and gave more responsibility to Nadda and Rudy despite the government's problems with the Shiv Sena in Maharastra being far from over. The third general secretary to become minister is Agra MP Rama Shankar Katheria, who had been put in charge of Chhattisgarh and Punjab.

Naqvi, the BJP’s Muslim face, was elevated perhaps to counter criticism Modi is facing for not providing enough representation to minorities in his government.

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