With Amit Shah Busy As Union Home Minister, JP Nadda Expected To Take Over As BJP President On Ekadashi On 20 January
BJP Working President Jagat Prakash Nadda Likely To Become New Party Chief On 20 JanuaryPrime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister J P Nadda (Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

Jagat Prakash Nadda, working president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is likely to be elevated as the party chief, replacing Amit Shah, this ekadashi (20 January).

"The announcement is likely on either 20 January or 21 January," said a senior BJP functionary. However, another BJP leader was more specific and said the announcement would be on the coming ekadashi.

In Sanskrit, ekadashi means 'eleven', as in the eleventh day of two fortnights of the waxing and waning moon.

The process of election of the national BJP president is quite elaborate and has been described in detail in the party constitution. The national president shall be elected by an electoral college, comprising members of the national council and the state councils, it says.

"Any 20 members of the electoral college of a state can jointly propose the name of a person, who has been an active member for four terms and has 15 years of membership, for the post of national president. Such joint proposal should come from not less then five states where elections have been completed for the national council. The consent of the candidate is necessary," says the party constitution.

Nadda is likely to be elected unopposed.

According to a BJP leader, privy to details, nomination papers for the post is slated to be filed on or by 19 January. "Since Nadda has backing of both Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, any other nomination is unlikely," he said.

However, there is a technical glitch. The party constitution mandates completion of election of at least 50 per cent of state presidents for the election of national president to happen. As of now, the BJP is yet to reach that mark.

However, a senior BJP leader told IANS the process of completion of election of at least 50 per cent state presidents will be completed in the "next four-five days".

One such upcoming election is in Punjab, to be held at Jalandhar on 17 January. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Rajya Sabha member, Mahesh Giri, national secretary, have been appointed observers for it.

Though the party had finalised the intra-party poll schedule long back, but it's running late.

The BJP had planned election of mandal presidents on October 11-13, district presidents and state executive members between November 11 and November 30, and state presidents and the national executive members between December 1 and 15 December.

The BJP hoped to finalise the election of the party chief by 31 December.

While some attribute the delay to the BJP's preoccupation with Jharkhand Assembly polls where it was facing the JMM-Congress-RJD combine, few term it deliberate.

The BJP follows the Hindu calender and is very mindful of auspiciousness of any time. The election schedule of the party chief was deemed inauspicious, first by a BJP Rajya Sabha member and later by many others in the organisation.

And this ekadashi is being considered the right moment for the new BJP chief to take over.

As the rules suggest, the election must be endorsed by the national council within one month, it is likely to be convened in Delhi, soon after the Delhi Assembly poll results are out by 11 February.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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