While former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar,till now the BJPs national vice-president,may not have found favours in the Rajnath Singhs new team,Himachal Pradeshs young leadership definitely succeeded in getting key berths - a new signal to the states ageing leadership.
Party general secretary and MP J P Nadda,a former cabinet minister,who was tipped by Nitin Gadkari to work at the national level has retained his position in the new team. His clout in the national team has grown as he has been made a member of the BJPs election committee. This is first time when a Himachal leader will have a say in the election committee.
No less in significance is the rise of Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur,son of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal,who has been given second term as the president of Bharatiya Yuva Janata Morcha. During his earlier term Thakur had led a Yatra to Kashmir to unfurl national flag,but the Yatra was stopped near Jammu .
Though Himachal has slipped out of the hands of the BJP,despite all positive growth trends as reflected in the economic survey,the party found its house in shambles resulting in electoral reversals. By giving important positions to young leaders from the state,the party appears to have tried to build up its base for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
We are certainly thankful to the central leadership for taking care of Himachal Pradesh and giving important positions to Nadda and Thakur.
We assure the senior leaders that the BJP will make a serious bid to give better results in the Lok Sabha polls by winning all four seats, state BJP president Satpal Satti,Dhumal and 12 other leaders said in a joint statement.
Naddas rise on the national scene after his two stints as cabinet minister,and earlier BYJM national president in 1990s,could be a signal about the BJPs plans to build a second line of leadership in the state unlike Congress. Equally important will be to watch Thakur,who is working as president of the partys youth wing beside handling the affairs at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association. It is he who got Himachals first international cricket stadium built at Dharamsala. The stadium hosted an one-day international match beside three IPL seasons.
With Shanta taking retirement from electoral politics,the BJP may have to work on his legacy in Kangra where the party lost its ground in the assembly elections. Rebellion and infighting in the party cost it heavy in the lower Himachal region and also in Mandi,where former MP Maheshwar Singh had quit the BJP and formed a new party.