BJP sets stage for Gen-Y to take charge

J.P. Nadda. File

J.P. Nadda. File  

Based on party rules, heads of more than 700 district units are younger than 50.

BJP president J.P. Nadda is yet to announce a new set of office-bearers after he was elected president of the party, but the electoral process at the lower organisational levels has ensured that he would probably be working with one of the youngest organisational teams ever assembled in the party’s history.

As district level polls for the BJP’s organisational units were held through last year into this one, a very conscious push was made to ensure that district presidents in all States are less than 50 years and preferably not more than 45. As a result, say senior party sources, nearly all the more than 700 organisational districts of the BJP (as distinct from administrative districts of India) have presidents who are less than 50.

“Uttar Pradesh has 98 organisational districts, the average age of district presidents is between 40-45 years, with only two districts presidents above 45, one is 46 years of age, another is 52,” said State BJP general secretary Vijay Pathak speaking to The Hindu. He also said that this was a conscious attempt through the entire electoral exercise, coupled with trying to get mandal presidents (a unit below districts) who would be below 45 years.

Kin kept out

“Other instructions were, as much as possible to make sure that relatives of corporators or panchayat representatives aligned with the party were not made district presidents,” he said.

In Bihar too, this rule was followed and in the 45 organisational districts of the state unit, the average age is 45, with not a single person above 50. In Karnataka, with 36 organisational districts, the average age varied between 39-55 years.

A senior party leader in Delhi said this conscious attempt to lower the average age of leadership within the organisation was to “set the tone for the next 10 years of the party.”

“You will see that in many States, for example in Madhya Pradesh, even State unit chiefs are people who are first term MPs etc. There is to be a generational change every few years, and its better if its welcomed and consciously implemented by the party itself,” said the source.

No word was forthcoming on whether Mr. Nadda’s new team of national office bearers will reflect this attempt at a generational shift.

“The list of office bearers is ready, and even vacancies in the parliamentary board (four in all) due to Venkaiahji (M. Venkaiah Naidu) becoming Vice-President, and the sad loss of Arun Jaitelyji, Sushma Swarajji and Ananth Kumarji, will be filled in one go,” said the source. Given that the BJP went through an implosion transiting from the Vajpayee-Advani era to one of Modi and Shah, this conscious transitioning portends interesting things for the party.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 6:17:03 PM |

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