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Will Dharmendra Pradhan Be The Next BJP President After Amit Shah?

28 May 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das

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Bhubaneswar: While speculation is rife that Gandhinagar MP and BJP president Amit Shah would join Narendra Modi's cabinet, the big question remains, who would fill in his shoes.

According to a report published in a national daily union health minister JP Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan are strong contenders for post of BJP’s national president.

Having delivered as in the past as Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha National president from 2004–2006, Pradhan has an edge over Nadda. Besides, he has proven his organizational skills in Bihar Lok Sabha elections 2014 and as a crisis manager for the party in Karnataka.

“Pradhan is one of the few leaders in the party who enjoys the confidence of both quarters – Modi-Shah duo and the Sangh parivar. Stakes are high that Modi and Shah anoint his to play a bigger role in the BJP,” a senior political analyst said.

"This would certainly be a matter of pride for Odias if Dharmendra Pradhan is selected as the president of a national party in power. It reamins to be seen how he steers and strengthens after his elevation in the party hierarcy," senior journalist Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra said.

BJP’s vote share in the Lok Sabha polls in Odisha rose from about 21.9 per cent in 2014 to 38.37 per cent. BJP’s vote share in Odisha’s Assembly polls also rose significantly from 18.2 per cent in 2014 to 32.5% in 2019.

“The improvement BJP recorded in Odisha was mainly because of the Modi-wave. However, Dharmendra has played a pivotal role in building the party’s cadre in the past five years, which was instrumental in garnering votes. This factor is likely to would swing the balance in his favour,” a political analyst added.

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Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra, Senior Journalist