Indian Express

Speculation rife over Narendra Modi’s successor in Vadodara

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And to ensure that 350 just not remain a dream, the party’s state unit has, once again, turned to its in-charge Amit Shah. Sources said Shah, party general secretary, is likely to be considered for the seat. (Source: Express Archive)

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving up his Vadodara Lok Sabha seat, speculation is rife in BJP on who will contest from the constituency in his home state even as the name of his close aide Amit Shah is doing the rounds.

While party leaders were tight-lipped on who in the party will fight for Vadodara seat, they said it was for Modi to take a call on this issue.

Sources said Shah, party general secretary, is likely to be considered for the seat.

Shah has not yet been “rewarded” for his good work in Uttar Pradesh where he scripted BJP’s grand success that saw the party winning 71 out of a total of 80 seats.

Speculation is also rife about Shah finding a place in Modi’s cabinet in the expansion that is expected soon. His name is also doing the rounds for Defence Ministry, which Modi was kept vacant and given as an additional charge to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Sources said the party will see a major revamp in the coming days, as its president Rajnath Singh, three vice presidents Jual Ornam, Uma Bharti and Smriti Irani and three general secretaries Ananth Kumar, Thawarchand Gehlot and Dhanrmendra Pradhan have joined the government.

Besides, party treasurer Piyush Goel and two spokespersons Prakash Javadekar and Nirmala Sitharaman have joined the government.

According to sources, Shah, along with general secretary J P Nadda and BJP’s Gujarat unit incharge Om Prakash Mathur, are in the race for the party president’s post

BJP will also see new faces in the party as it does not want to weaken the organization ahead of crucial assembly elections in states of Maharashtra and Haryana later this year and Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand early next year.

BJP’s ideological fountainhead, the RSS, also wants that the organisation should remain vibrant and strong unlike in 1999 when the party had weakened as all bigwigs went into the government and the party lost touch with the grassroots.

Modi decided to represent Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.

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