It is a long journey of struggle from grassroots level RSS worker, and a student leader, for 62 year old - Jagat Prakash Nadda. His ascendency from student leader to national president of BJP, now extended upto 2024.
Now it touches new heights as the party controls majority of the states in India. But now Nadda faces hordes of challenges; of making inroads in southern states and retention of the most crucial state of Karnataka, besides other eight states going to polls in 2023.
And the the final show in 2024 parliamentary polls in the country.
Cobbling together alliance partners
Nadda’s electoral successes continued uninterrupted in the states, and BJP became the single largest
party in Haryana in 2019, and formed the government with Jannayak Janta Party. It won 74 seats in Bihar where it contested as an alliance partner with Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar. It attained a distinction of having highest strike rate in Bihar and victories came after Pandemic in Assam,Uttar
Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Gujarat. Analysts opine that Nadda will have to pass litmus test in Karnataka where it is already poised to opt for any extreme measure like ‘Love Jihad’ over governance to retain it. Similarly, BJP will fight for creating a space as opposition in Telangana in a few months which will be followed by a huge challenge in other seven states going to polls this year.
Second, Nadda officially took charge of the BJP on January 20, 2020 prior to outbreak of Pandemic and he is expected to steer his party to victory in 2024 polls which is of utmost importance for Narender Modi to test his popularity amidst the heavy odds of highest dose of unemployment, skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, dismal economic scenario, fallout of Ukraine war etc.
Third, Rajasthan Rashtriya Loktantrik party of Hanuman Beniwal was 19th allies of NDA which had quit due to farmers agitation between 2014 and Dec, 2020. NDA had lost 15 allies between 2014 and 2019 but it did not affect the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls owing to several reasons. But now Nadda’s party is facing a different scenario as major allies like JD(U) in Bihar, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab, Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) parted company.
BJP had pre poll alliance with several partners in 11 states out of 29 in 2019 which will change in 2024 polls. Some of sub regional parties like Sudesh Mahto-led All Jharkhand Students Union, OP Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, Hanuman Beniwal-led Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, Bodo People’s Front (BPF), Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Goa Forward Party, MDMK and DMDK have also moved out of the ruling alliance.
Fourth, Nadda and his party will be searching for nationalistic issues like 2019. and Amit Shah’s hint that the completion of Ram Temple by the beginning of 2024 may provide the answer. Nadda is optimistic that Hindutva besides ‘Charisma’ of Modi will ensure third term to NDA though scenario is complex now in the country as compared to the 2109 elections.
Faith in Nadda
Though Nadda’s personality symbolises dynamism, pump house of never-tiring energy, sobriety and maturity. But the faith reposed by RSS and Modi in his leadership contributed in his extension thereby putting him to test to ensure victory in state assemblies and parliamentary polls in 2024. Nadha’s ascendency from student leader to regular president of BJP, which had touched new heights in controlling majority of the states in India and decimating opposition in last parliamentary polls, made it a special one.
A grassroots level worker
Through reminiscences the bitter fact comes to everyone’s mind, which pertains to Nadda’s forceful exit from state politics in May,2010, due to his stark and unambiguous differences with former chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal, after being cabinet minister twice in BJP government.
This acted as a blessing in disguise because it gave him a golden opportunity to work in organization. He was appointed general secretary by ex BJP chief, Nitin Gadkari which proved a stepping stone to attain height in his political career.
While sharing his personal views with this writer, Nadda gave credit to his rise to Almighty God, besides profusely feeling grateful to PM and Shah who have expressed their faith in his capabilities and hard work to carry on the legacy of master strategist, Shah.
Inspired by JP Movement
Nadha was a student in Patna College when he participated in Jayaprakash Narayan’s Bihar Movement launched against corruption and misrule of state government which later turned into total revolution to oust Mrs Indira Gandhi from power at centre on Nov 18, 1974. He had a close association with RSS as a worker and worked in ABVP for several years where he became national president in 1990-91.
Moderate and flexible, Nadda grew under the influence of big stalwarts like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and L.K. Advani who guided him at every step of his political career. Nadda is known for his qualities of being moderate, and having an accommodating nature to adopt even hardliners which endears him to his bosses.
As things stand today, Nadda will be solicited for advice by RSS and Modi, but he will have to prove himself as quintessential organizational man to leave his permanent print on his mentors which will be decided by the people in nine assemblies and Lok Sabha polls.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.