J.P. Nadda back to Modi’s inner circle

New Delhi: After leading the BJP as its national president for more than four years, JP Nadda returned to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s council of ministers on Sunday.

The 63-year old took oath as a Cabinet minister, becoming the sole representative from Himachal Pradesh in the BJP-led government. It is not yet known which ministry will be assigned to him.

He served as Union health minister in Modi’s first term from November 9, 2014, to May 30, 2019.

“Grateful to PM Narendra Modi ji for reposing faith in me. Under Modi ji’s visionary leadership, India has achieved remarkable milestones, fostering growth, innovation, and prosperity,” Nadda said in post on X.

“I pledge to work tirelessly with utmost dedication and sincerity to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to me. Together, we will embark on a journey toward a brighter, more inclusive future for every citizen, ensuring that no one is left behind on our journey of progress and development,” he added.

Nadda, who holds a degree in law, started his political journey with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He became president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the BJP’s youth wing, in 1991.

He held various key positions in the BJP, headed its election campaign in a host of states — from Bihar to Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Punjab. He also served as a minister in BJP’s governments in his home state of Himachal Pradesh.

He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and made a member of the BJP’s parliamentary board in 2014 when Amit Shah took over as party president.

After the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Nadda was made the BJP’s working president. He was later elevated to the position of BJP president in January 2020 after Shah, the then BJP chief, was appointed as Union home minister.

Nadda took over as BJP chief at a time when the party was witnessing vigorous challenges from a united opposition in assembly elections in several states amid signs that it needed to rework its electoral strategy.

Despite its overwhelming win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP suffered several defeats in assembly polls since 2018, except in Haryana where it formed a government in an alliance with the Jannayak Janta Party.

The BJP won new allies and strung up a series of impressive assembly wins on Nadda’s watch. During his term as BJP chief, the party consolidated its strongholds and expanded its footprints despite some occasional setbacks.

With his term coming to an end in June, the low-key leader from Himachal Pradesh would have liked to demit office on the high of having achieved yet another impressive Lok Sabha poll win but the BJP’s victory in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls came with reduced numbers. The party fell short of a majority on its own as it won just 240 seats in the parliamentary polls.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 293 seats, setting the course for a third consecutive term as prime minister for Modi despite the opposition’s resurgence.

Nadda is considered within the party an epitome of political correctness, with his manners unfailingly polite in public and his attacks on rivals never triggering any unseemly controversy.

He enjoys warm relations with Modi, who was for a long time in charge of the party’s affairs in Himachal Pradesh.

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