Jagat Prakash Nadda is set to take over as the national president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The 59-year-old is widely expected to be elected as the party chief unopposed on January 20.
He is currently the working president and will be taking over from Amit Shah.
Top party leaders, multiple union ministers and state-level leaders will be present when Nadda files his nomination at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on January 20.
He became the working president in June shortly after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had retained power at the Centre. Shah, the current party chief, became the Union Home Minister. The party has a convention of 'one person, one post'.
Nadda being appointed as the working president was seen by political observers as an indication of further elevation in the future.
If no other member files their nomination, Nadda will be declared the new national president. However, a contest will take place on January 21, if required.
BJP has a convention of electing its president with consensus without any contest. There remains little possibility of any other name coming up.
Nadda’s election will also draw curtains on Shah’s tenure stretching over five-and-a-half years. During these years, the party expanded its footprint rapidly and made inroads into states and regions where it had been traditionally weak. The saffron party also won key state elections during this period. It also lost a few state battles.
Nadda’s political career at glance
A leader from Himachal Pradesh, Nadda is reportedly trusted by the party's top brass, as well as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — the party's ideological parent — even as he was convent-educated at St. Xavier's School, Patna.
He completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Patna University and studied law at Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla.
He served as the National General Secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) from 1986 to 1989. He was appointed the chief of BJP’s youth wing, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in 1991.
He was first elected to the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1993. Between 1994 and 1998, Nadda served as the leader of the legislative party in the Assembly. In 1998, he became the state minister for Health and Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs.
In 2007, he was inducted in Pre Kumar Dhumal’s state cabinet and was given the Environment, Science and Technology portfolios from 2008 to 2012.
Nadda was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and remained in the Upper House since. He also served as a union minister in the first Narendra Modi Union Cabinet as the Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
Having risen through the saffron ranks, Nadda has long been a member of the BJP parliamentary board — its highest decision making body.
In political circles, Nadda is described as BJP’s key back door strategist and a trusted lieutenant of Modi and Shah.
In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Nadda was in-charge of the party’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh. The state, with a total of 80 parliamentary seats, is politically crucial. It was also facing a tough challenge from the Samajwadi Party (SP)-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ‘Mahagathbandhan’. The party won 62 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.