File image of Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda. | Photo: ANI
File image of Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda. | Photo: ANI
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New Delhi: Two tweets by Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Wednesday evening highlighted what has long been an open secret in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — that J.P. Nadda is the BJP president for ceremonial purposes while Union Home Minister Amit Shah runs the party from his Krishna Menon Marg residence.

Sarma, the BJP’s point man in the Northeast, was in Delhi along with four ministers of the National People’s Party (NPP) whose resignation had threatened to bring down the BJP-led government in Manipur. On Wednesday evening, he posted two tweets in a span of 45 minutes — first about the resolution of the political crisis after the NPP leaders’ meeting with Amit Shah, and then repeating it after their meeting with Nadda.

As if to make amends for publicly crediting the Union home minister with the BJP’s crisis resolution, Sarma posted a third tweet with three pictures of Nadda’s meeting with the NPP delegation. The Assam minister was, however, unnecessarily hassled about political propriety. Nadda, who became BJP president five months back, is reconciled to being a rubber stamp, say his party colleagues.

What has, however, surprised them is his failure to appoint state BJP presidents of his choice, or protect his loyalists even on his home turf, Himachal Pradesh.

Also read: BJP’s Manipur crisis averted, NPP agrees to remain ally after meeting Amit Shah and Nadda

Appointments and removals

Himachal BJP president Rajeev Bindal, Nadda’s close associate and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur’s rival, had to resign last month in the alleged PPE kit scam. Thakur was learnt to have secured Shah’s support for Bindal’s resignation as an official arrested in connection with the scam was perceived to be close to the state BJP president.

It’s the chief minister who headed the health department, but it’s the state BJP chief, a former minister, who had to pay the price.

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The BJP national president couldn’t have his way in the recent appointment of the Delhi BJP chief. Nadda, say party insiders, wanted Ashish Sood to replace Manoj Tiwari as the party head in the national capital. Sood and Nadda go back a long way — in the 1980s, when Nadda was the organising secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Sood worked with him in the organisation.

According to party functionaries, some of Nadda’s junior colleagues involved in Delhi affairs went over his head to get Amit Shah’s nod for Adesh Kumar Gupta’s appointment as Delhi unit chief.

It’s not just organisational appointments that have underscored the undermining of the incumbent BJP president, with his predecessor taking decisions. When the party launched virtual rallies 10 days back to connect with party workers and reach out to the people, it was Home Minister Shah, and not the BJP president, who was at the forefront, launching the rallies with his address to Bihar. Nadda’s turn came later.

BJP leaders are of the view that Nadda has no reason for complaining as it was Shah who re-built the party with his sweat and Narendra Modi’s popular appeal. They say it’s necessary for Shah, PM Modi’s putative successor, to keep control of the party, especially when it shows signs of fraying in assembly elections.

Also read: Nadda likely to largely retain Amit Shah’s team, could induct new faces as ‘reward’

No assertion of authority

Not that Nadda has shown any inclination to assert his authority. He was elected BJP president on 20 January, about three weeks before the Delhi assembly elections. He chose to remain a spectator as Amit Shah led the charge.

In March, when the BJP was busy engineering defections in the Congress camp to topple the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh, Nadda was busy organising his son’s wedding.

It was at the wedding reception in Delhi that Shivraj Singh Chouhan briefed the central BJP leadership about Jyotiraditya Scindia and his loyalists’ plans to bring down the Congress government. As they confabulated over a sumptuous dinner and left for another location to carry the discussions forward, Nadda was busy greeting his guests, the who’s who of the capital’s power circuit.

Days after Scindia had discussed the terms and conditions of his entry in the BJP with Modi and Shah, Nadda was at the BJP headquarters to complete the formality of Scindia’s induction in the party. After Chouhan’s return as the CM, it’s Modi and Shah who have been holding up the expansion of his cabinet, with Nadda and the CM awaiting their signal, say party insiders.

So, Nadda wouldn’t mind if Himanta Biswa Sarma told the world about Amit Shah saving the BJP government in Manipur. He can never replace Amit Shah, and the good thing is he knows his limitations, a senior BJP parliamentarian opined.

That’s why Nadda is in no hurry about the organisational reshuffle, five months after taking over from Shah. Usually, the new president of a political party would like to constitute his own team and try to make his mark on the party and its politics.

But not Nadda. He would play second fiddle to his predecessor — happily — if that’s what it takes to survive.

Also read: The 5 key takeaways from virtual rallies by Amit Shah, Gadkari, Rajnath and Smriti Irani


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7 Comments Share Your Views


  1. How is that the moderating authority of your site, delete the uncomfortable views? Is it your master’s voice?

  2. It is rightly said that Jumla Party is the party of One-and-a-half! It is left to once imagination, whom to consider one and whom else as a-half; in such situation where the Nadda stand? Even rubber-stamp is more than his imagination! He is even ready to be considered him as Taklu’s ‘juutee’!!

  3. BJP has a credible leadership that delivers. It believes in discussions with both who matter and who deliever unlike Congress where except nepotism, sycophancy takes the lead that too for a family which has used this nation for their personal aggrandizement.

  4. The print you should change your name ae anti-bjp because you always manipulate the information according to your comfort…

  5. The economic ministries are manned by men of straw, the only thing they know is hindu and hindu. What’s this, if there’s no shortage of talent.

  6. Dear author , you need not to be worried about the leadership of BJP . The party has 7-8 different Presidents from the time leadership of you favorite Congress party was place at the feet of Sonia G . BJP has no dearth of candidates to replace Mr. Nadda , if his leadership is found wanting. THe BJP has a big pool of talented leaders who can assume the responsibility of Party President. It is congress party where President should come out of vaginal organs of a particular family only . This is practically happening since the Dynasty s founder JLN appointed his 30 years old daughter–Indra G, as party president in 1958-59 while there were large number of veteran eligible and capable freedom fighters within the party. Out of last 60 years for 50 years or so No NON-GANDHI -NEHRU was thought to be worthy of being party president. The recent disclosure about receipt of donations from government of China, diversion of funds from Prime Minister National Relief funds, forced Donations from some other ministries and public sector undertaking to a family controlled foundation have exposed its burqua clad face.


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