BJP gives Shah full term; L K Advani, MM Joshi give ceremony a miss

The BJP on Sunday re-elected Amit Shah as its party chief after top party leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed his name for what will in effect be his first full term.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: January 25, 2016 2:39 am
At the BJP headquarters, Sunday. (Express Photo by Oinam Anand) At the BJP headquarters, Sunday. (Express Photo by Oinam Anand)

As expected, Amit Shah was elected BJP president unopposed Sunday for a full term. But L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, two former party presidents who are now members of its Margdarshak Mandal, stayed away from the colourful ceremony attended by central ministers, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and party office-bearers.

Sources claimed Advani and Joshi, who were always present whenever the party elected a new president, were not informed about the programme at the BJP headquarters. But others in the party said Shah would be meeting Advani, Joshi and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to “seek their blessings”.

Along with Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar, Advani and Joshi stunned the BJP leadership on Diwali eve when they issued a statement targeting Shah and his team for the party’s rout in Bihar.

The BJP, the veteran leaders said, was being “forced to kowtow to a handful”, that its “consensual character” had been “destroyed” and it had been “emasculated” in the last year.

Although the BJP leadership said there would be more discussion in the party before decision-making and that members of the Margdarshak Mandal would be consulted, no meeting or talks have been held so far. A BJP leader, considered close to the veterans, said the party’s reluctance to invite them for the Sunday ceremony showed “there is not likely to be any change in Shah’s style of functioning”.

Incidentally, the Margdarshak Mandal, formed after the 2014 Lok Sabha victory, has never met. Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh are its other members.
Shah’s predecessors Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, M Venkaiah Naidu — they are all Union Ministers now — were the first to greet him after his election for a three-year term was announced. Narendra Modi, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and the party parliamentary board proposed 51-year-old Shah’s name for the post. Avinash Rai Khanna, the chief electoral officer, said 17 nominations were filed for Shah.

Modi, who was not present on the occasion since he was in Chandigarh with French President Francois Hollande, will attend the parliamentary board meeting likely to be held on January 28. Within minutes of the announcement, Modi tweeted: “Congratulations to Shri @AmitShah on being elected BJP president. I am confident the Party will scale newer heights under his leadership… Amit Bhai combines grassroot-level work & rich organisational experience which will benefit the Party immensely.”

Party workers, who had arrived from different parts of Delhi and other states, distributed sweets, burst crackers and danced to drum beats at the BJP headquarters which had been decorated with party flags, saffron cloth and fresh flowers. A group of children dressed in saffron robes blew conch shells as the nominations were filed.
Senior leaders showered praise on Shah. “He is the most capable person and a good strategist. He has organisational ability. Under his leadership, we have recorded notable victories,” Naidu said.

Rajnath Singh said: “There was only one nomination and that was of Amit Shah. I believe the reason behind it was the unanimous decision of party members. I congratulate him and I have full faith that the party will perform tremendously under his leadership.”

Criticised after the BJP’s rout in Delhi and Bihar, Shah has a tough time ahead. The biggest challenge will be Uttar Pradesh where assembly elections are due next year. “Among the states where elections will be held this year, the party has hopes of government formation only in Assam. But whatever gains we make in the other states — West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu — will be his achievement,” a party general secretary said.

According to another party leader, Shah has to successfully complete the “modernisation” of the party. “He has to take it forward. He has extended the ideologisation programme, part of the membership campaign, to train 16 lakh people for party work. His concept is to create an ideology-centric party with members who are not power hungry,” the leader said, adding that he also has to ensure there is “perfect coordination between the party, government and the Sangh”.

2015 ended on a happy note though for Shah. On December 30, a special CBI court in Mumbai discharged him from the alleged fake encounter killing cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi, and Tulsiram Prajapati. The cases were clubbed and transferred from an Ahmedabad court to the Mumbai court in 2012 following a Supreme Court order. There is no appeal pending against him in these cases.

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  1. F
    FekuSarkar
    Jan 24, 2016 at 8:21 pm
    Dictatorship!!! In one word, they don't long last aming intellectuals.
    Reply
    1. F
      FekuSarkar
      Jan 24, 2016 at 6:40 pm
      Meat Shah again for president? Good so he can help loose Bengal, Gujarat n other!! Nice choice feku
      Reply
      1. I
        I.smell.a.stnky.skunk.in.Ami.Shah
        Jan 24, 2016 at 9:47 am
        Welcome back ISTANT BUTCHER AMIT SHAH(ABAS).
        Reply
        1. R
          Raghu.Vamshi
          Jan 24, 2016 at 9:52 am
          2016 embly Election results just announced many months before elections.
          Reply
          1. M
            Minu
            Jan 24, 2016 at 11:14 am
            50$ free Pokerstars real money NO deposit required at this link: goo.gl/l6MvGG
            Reply
            1. M
              MohdIrfan
              Jan 24, 2016 at 10:43 am
              Mentally sick joker wake up you want looters of INDIA more than 60 years shame on you with fake id joker shut your dirty mouth
              Reply
              1. M
                MohdIrfan
                Jan 24, 2016 at 10:53 am
                Mentally sick joker wake up otherwise soon finish haaa....
                Reply
                1. M
                  MohdIrfan
                  Jan 24, 2016 at 10:42 am
                  Proud of you sir LONG LIVE TEAMMODI and BJP to save our country from the cluthes of ITALIAN MAFIA who looted this country and make MUSLIMS and DALITS fools shame on you FAKE I looters we are very haapy for AMIT SHAH has BJP president
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    MohdIrfan
                    Jan 24, 2016 at 10:46 am
                    Well said brother
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      PCKULKARNI
                      Jan 24, 2016 at 10:15 am
                      ured continuance of Delhi Bihar series.
                      Reply
                      1. T
                        TIHAEwale
                        Jan 24, 2016 at 3:31 pm
                        in this cold weather good that Advani, Joshi all sta in comfort of razai at home
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Arun
                          Jan 24, 2016 at 10:56 am
                          Amit Shah was arrested on 25 July 2010 in connection with the Sohrabuddin case. He was charged with the murder, extortion and kidnapping among other charges. Many leaders in the Gujarat government distanced themselves from him. His fellow ministers criticized him as an autocratic person, who did not have good relations with his colleagues. When Shah applied for bail, the CBI raised concerns that he would use his political power to prevent justice from taking its course.[7] The Gujarat High Court granted him bail three months after his arrest, on Friday, 29 October 2010. However, the next day, when the courts were closed, Justice Aftab Alam took a peion at his residence to bar him from entering Gujarat. Shah was thus forcibly exiled from the state from 2010 to 2012. He and his wife moved to a room in Gujarat Bhavan, Delhi. A person of this background is the president of BJP, the puppet of RSS
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Arun
                            Jan 24, 2016 at 10:54 am
                            GOOD NEWS for majority of the 81% Indian potion who are not UCVH ( upper caste veg hindus). The RSS rule will surely end by 2019. Thank you MOHAN BHAGWAT.
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Arun
                              Jan 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm
                              RSS is better only for UCVH (upper caste veg hindus)
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Arun
                                Jan 24, 2016 at 1:19 pm
                                Why are you bringing the Kashmir Pandit issue ? Kashmir was not even India, before or during independence in 1947.
                                Reply
                                1. B
                                  Balgit
                                  Jan 25, 2016 at 12:28 am
                                  1. No difference between Congress and BJP in inability to change leaders who dont perform. 2. The judiciary can probe the consutionality involved in "perfect coordination between the party, government and the Sang " 3. "to create an ideology-centric party with members who are not power hungry,”- the party and its leaders can be power hungry, but the tireless volunteers should not ask for any reward?
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    mark
                                    Jan 24, 2016 at 11:05 am
                                    More than the BJP, there is a great jubilation in AAP and JDU. The best of BJP is the one they broke.
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      mark
                                      Jan 24, 2016 at 8:31 am
                                      The beginning of the end.
                                      Reply
                                      1. B
                                        Bijan Mohanty
                                        Jan 24, 2016 at 4:39 pm
                                        Elections show that BJP is a deeply divided party within with many veterans clearly against Shah.
                                        Reply
                                        1. B
                                          Brahma Vishnu
                                          Jan 24, 2016 at 9:10 am
                                          A terrorist RSS pracharak has made it possible for a petty criminal and a murderer to be elected as president of terrorist political party..
                                          Reply
                                          1. K
                                            Karunakaran
                                            Jan 25, 2016 at 8:02 am
                                            BJP has become a two-Gujjus party. Nobody else matters. Nobody else matters! Economy is in terribly bad shape, sharemarket has lost all the gains over the last two years, no increase in jobs for the millions coming out of the colleges and universities. But the two Gujjus are having a field day.
                                            Reply
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