Why Amit Shah picked who he did

Narendra Modi and Mr Shah share a special bond. With leverage such as this, Mr Shah could have named

The new BJP president, Amit Shah, enjoys the strong endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who ensured his appointment to the high position. The two have been a team from their time together in Gujarat and are thought to share a special bond as doers together. With leverage such as this, Mr Shah could have named anyone at all to the party’s leadership, but he is said to have chosen judiciously, not whimsically.

Political parties in a democracy have to try to be election-winning machines. If they fail there, changes are typically effected. Since Mr Shah is credited with producing the BJP’s fantastic poll result in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s largest state where the party reaped a golden harvest under Mr Shah’s personal guidance in the recent Lok Sabha election, he is now seen within the party as the magician who can bring laurels for the cause in the four Assembly elections due later this year, and in the state polls in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh over the next two years.

The calculations of state polls in the near future have apparently influenced the BJP leader in his choice of personnel — Maharashtra, UP, Bihar and Jharkhand have bagged good slots.

Some of the more active, younger elements from the past have been retained, like J.P. Nadda and Anurag Thakur. Those who didn’t make it to Mr Modi’s council of ministers now find their profile in the organisation raised, a case in point being Rajiv Pratap Rudy of Bihar, who was said to be anticipating a call from the PM. Politically abandoned folks like Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi have been retained in the leadership structure for tactical reasons.

But the dumping of “the other” Nehru-Gandhi scion, the late Sanjay Gandhi’s son Varun, from the position of general secretary, and the elevation as vice-president of former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who had to resign from the BJP when corruption charges were levelled against him, are likely to spark comment. It’s clear Varun has had to go because he gave the impression during the Lok Sabha poll of not being a Modi groupie. His dropping is the clearest indication that rival factions have no place in Mr Shah’s scheme of things. And Mr Yeddyurappa’s selection is a sign that corruption can be tolerated provided its practitioner has practical uses like helping win elections.

As always in the BJP’s leadership structure, the RSS has been a key influence in the choice of personnel, although this time around there is perhaps a more pronounced tilt. This is not surprising, given that the Hindutva majoritarian plank has a clear majority in the House.

( Source : dc )
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