Team Nadda has Amit Shah stamp, Will Ram Madhav go back to RSS?

Will former RSS man and ‘powerful general secretary’ Ram Madhav go back to the Sangh ?
The ‘Team Nadda’ announced on Saturday, Sept 26, first reshuffle in the BJP central leadership since 2014, of course has Amit Shah stamp.

Mukul Roy, a former Mamata Banerjee trusted aide, and was given personal assurance by Shah in April 2018,has made it as a national Vice President. This arrangement should help put the House in order in West Bengal, whichBJP wants to capture in 2021 polls.

Shah’s close aides Bhupender Yadav, Arun Singh and Kailash Vijayvargiya are also in the team as general secretaries. Former UP finance minister Rajesh Agarwal, also close to Shah. is now the party Treasurer. In fact, it goes without saying, removal of Ram Madhav was not possible without Amit Shah’s nod and also from Prime Minister Narendra Modi backing.

Shah-confidant Amit Malviya too retained as IT cell chief despite the row with Dr Subramanian Swamy. Replacing Mr Ram Madhav as general secretary is significant as he had earlier handled Jammu and Kashmir, negotiated with PDP leaders to run the PDP-BJP regime in the erstwhile state and was also given almost freehand in northeast including Nagaland.

In 2018 after BJP’s ally Naga People’s Front (NPF) split at the organisational level and NDPP was floated by incumbent Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Mr Madhav was the architect of BJP’s tie up with the NDPP.

The NDPP-BJP government is in power in the state and all eyes are on Nagaland development in next one week or so when a final peace accord is expected to be inked between the Centre and Naga militant groups.

M Chuba Ao, a former Nagaland unit chief of the BJP, has been made national vice president and the move is seen as a significant one. Naga legislator M Kikon has been for the first time made a national spokesman.Never in the Congress, Naga leaders got such high importance at the national levelin the organisation.

The reshuffle in the BJP’s team of national office bearers comes on the eve of a series of polls across the country.

While Bihar goes to the polls next month, the key states of West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu go to the polls
by May 2021.

Of course, slowly the focus will also turn to states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat – both crucial states go to the assembly polls
in March and December 2022 respectively.

JP Nadda’s New Team has former UP finance minister Rajesh Agarwal, a lawmaker from Bareilly, now as a Treasurer replacing Piyush Goyal.

Rekha Verma, a Kurmi leader, is among the 12 national vice presidents and a Jat MP from Fatehpur Sikri, Rajkumar Chahar, as head of BJP Kisan morcha replacing Virendra Singh Mast.

While the new Team of office bearers signals a clear push for generation next, the Parliamentary Board — the BJP’s highest decision-making body — will also see major surprise.

Deaths of Sushma Swaraj, Ananth Kumar and Arun Jaitley and also the election of former BJP chief M Venkaiah Naidu to the post of the Vice-President of the country. There are eight others from Uttar Pradesh accommodated in Team Nadda and all roads lead to 2022 March assembly polls.

BJP’s farmers’ wing will have to gear up for various programmes, seminars and webinars as the Modi government has got entangled with agrarian protest.

One of its oldest NDA constituents —Shiromani Akali Dal of Punjab– has also deserted the ruling coalition over farm policy issues. The new team has a Muslim too — in the form of Syed Zafar Islam, also a Rajya Sabha MP, as one of the 25 spokespersons.

Sudanshu Trivedi also from the northern state is one of the key spokespersons. Gaurav Bhatia, a former Samajwadi Party leader, is also in the BJP national panel of spokespersons.

Member of Parliament from Karnataka Tejasvi Surya, a fiery orator, has been made the president of the party’s youth wing replacing Poonam Mahajan. Suya often courts controversies for his radical views.

In Bengal, of course veteran Rahul Sinha is annoyed for being left out. A former Trinamool MP Anupam Hazra was made a national secretary in place of Sinha, who was once state unit chief.

Importantly, Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao has been dropped as a spokesman and party lawmaker Aparajita Sarangi from Odisha, Rajiv Chandrashekhar from Karnataka and Guru Prakash from Bihar are now spokespersons.

A visibly hurt senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha said he has been awarded for 40 years of loyalty and selfless service to the party “I will chalk out a plan in next 10 to 12 days…I had to move out as Trinamool turncoats have to be accomodated”.

“Congratulations to the newly appointed office-bearers of the BJP. Grateful to the party leadership for providing me the opportunity to serve for one term as Gen Secretary,” tweeted Ram Madhav.

About the Author:

Nirendra Dev is senior Journalist. He is a longtime northeast watcher and author of books including ‘The Talking Guns: North East India’ and ‘Modi to Moditva: An Uncensored Truth’.