J.P. Nadda, BJP president, belatedly got a new team months after he was appointed chief and the new team had Amit Shah stamped all over it.
The big takeaways were the continuance of Amit Malviya as the Information and Technology (IT) cell chief in a public snub of the BJP MP, Subramanium Swamy, who had publicly demanded his head for trolling Swamy and called him a “character”. Malviya’s political stock has gone up by his continuance and shows the faith Modi and Shah have in the chief of the infamous IT cell. First time MP for Bengalaru South Tejaswi Surya who has been controversial for his tweets on Arab women was appointed the chief of the party’s youth wing.
Ram Madhav, veteran RSS full timer on loan to the BJP, and Murlidhar Rao were dropped as party general secretaries. Anil Baluni will continue as the media cell head despite many complaints. Nadda has still not managed to fill up the many vacancies in the BJP’s all-important Parliamentary board caused by the death of leaders such as Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Manohar Parrikar and Ananth Kumar. The BJP finally got a treasurer after nearly six years as Rajesh Gupta from Uttar Pradesh, a known Shah aide, and Sudhir Gupta from Madhya Pradesh were named treasurer and deputy treasurer. Speculation raged over a Modi Cabinet reshuffle post the party re-jig as it has many vacancies, but Modi has been reluctant to promote or change his team.
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The politically important post of general secretaries saw several Shah close aides continue including Bhupinder Yadav and Kailash Vijayavarigye. The latter is Shah’s lieutenant in West Bengal. The list issued by Nadda had Shah stamped all over it showing the iron grip that Shah still has over the party. Sources say that Shah took all the decisions and Nadda acted as an obliging rubber stamp. Shah is now gearing up for the important Bihar elections scheduled for later this year and West Bengal next. Clearly being controversial helps your odds in the BJP said an angry senior leader who has been left out in the cold referring to Malviya and Surya. The BJP was a cadre based party with a robust intra party communication. All that changed when Modi and Shah virtually reduced it to a two-man party.
The Nadda presidency continues Shah style. Despite the fact that Nadda had been appointed president Shah led the BJP campaign for Delhi.