Central leadership is said to be extremely happy with his functioning
With his emphatic victory in the Kannyakumari Lok Sabha constituency by more than one lakh votes, the grip of the BJP Tamil Nadu president, Pon. Radhakrishnan, on the State unit has grown stronger.
While he is expected to land a plump portfolio in the Union Cabinet, the fact that other senior leaders in the State — L. Ganesan, C.P. Radhakrishnan and H. Raja — bit the dust has added to his stature.
Sources say the BJP’s high command has been very happy with his functioning since he was elected president for a second term in 2012.
Ending the party’s decade-long electoral isolation, Mr. Radhakrishnan, with the help of a team of leaders, attracted three significant parties into the NDA fold.
“He is expecting an infrastructure portfolio and has set his sights on either Power or Shipping. But he will abide by Mr. Modi’s decision,” a senior leader said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Mr. Radhakrishnan was given a warm reception by party workers when he reached Chennai on Sunday.
Also, given the convention in the BJP of avoiding dual posts, sources say, the party might look for a new State president soon, though his tenure will expire in July next.
Given the clout Mr. Radhakrishnan now enjoys, he will have a big say in the selection of his successor. “We have to gear up for fighting the 2016 Assembly elections, which requires a State president working full time in Tamil Nadu,” the senior leader said.
Meanwhile, a national executive member of the BJP said PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss had indeed pitched for a Cabinet berth.
However, there are doubts whether he would get Health, a portfolio he held between 2004 and 2009.
“A charge sheet pending against him in a corruption case may influence the decision. The Central leadership may offer him some other portfolio,” the member said.