People to watch out for: BJP sees a changemaker in J.P. Nadda

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP Working President J.P. Nadda during the two-day compulsory orientation programme ‘Abhyas Varga’ organised for all the newly-elected Members of Parliament of BJP in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, at Parliament in New Delhi on Aug 3, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) If the spotlight will be on one person of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) throughout 2020 who is expected to bring new ideas and be the change maker in his own way, it is Jagat Prakash Nadda – a former Union minister, now the Working President of the ruling party and tipped to be the President of it as Amit Shah demits office.

Though, it is widely believed that in spite of relinquishing the post, Shah will have a firm grip over the organisation; but it will be Nadda who will be taking day to day calls while dealing with alliance partners. With five states slipping out of its grip in last one year, can J.P. Nadda be a turnaround story for the BJP as a party in the states?

Though Shah has instilled the sense of round the clock work culture in Nadda, under his watch, many believe the latter has his own style of doing business.

Unlike Shah, who is known to be non pretentious, Nadda is known for his affable behaviour.

“His refusals are also accompanied with a smile,” said a BJP National Secretary.

At a time, when the BJP is fast losing allies and is construed to be ‘arrogant’, Nadda can be the change maker.

Not just the Shiv Sena was allowed to walk out of the alliance in Maharashtra to form government with the Congress and the NCP but the AJSU too walked out of the NDA just ahead of the Jharkhand elections. A tiny but truthful ally Republican Party of India too has publicly expressed its disapproval for Mohan Bhagwat’s “all Indians are Hindu” comment.

Meanwhile, the JD-U has been sulking since May last year when its demand for adequate representation in the Modi government in the second term was not met and it decided to keep out of the Union Cabinet.

After the BJP sent overtures that Bihar elections will be fought under Nitish Kumar, the matter was settled temporarily before it propped up its leader Prashant Kishor who recently reminded the BJP on Tuesday that it had lost in 2015.

At the fag end of 2018, Upendra Kushwaha led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party too had called it quits.

The common thread that binds all of them was these alliance partners alleged the BJP became “way too arrogant” and there’s little room left for “negotiations”.

Nadda, who is known for his soft nature and ability to convince, may undo some of the damages for the BJP in 2020, given two high profile elections are waiting to take place – Delhi and Bihar.

But while he may be more approachable to the allies who want to discuss ‘give and take’ before elections, many fear the power dynamic Shah, created by appearing to be the last word when it came to running the organisation, may be diluted.

Nadda, however, has administrative experience of being Union Minister and was on the verge of becoming Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister when his protege Jai Ram Thakur was made the CM.

But he has a big shoe to fill, that of Amit Shah who turned the BJP into an election machine. But with five losses in one year and a slew of allies dumping the BJP calling it ‘arrogant’, Nadda is the BJP’s best bet for an image makeover.

As 2020 dawns, Nadda has his work cut out – win back allies, make BJP win respectable seats in Delhi (last time it was reduced to just three), iron out glitches with the JDU and win Bihar poll to mark his stamp as the change maker.

 

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