BJP is gearing up for elections. Narendra Modi will be the official mascot. However, Amit Shah’s wings will be completely clipped. For last four-and-half years their writ was running in the party and the government. From President to the chief ministers, they selected everybody. They appointed persons of their choice on key positions in the government and on the constitutional posts. They gave preference to officials from Gujarat. With series of victories, there was no challenge to them. In fact after Vajpayee everybody thought Advani will run the party and the government. But his role became negligible. Modi and Shah moved strategically to completely sidelined the old guards. Venkaiah Naidu, who was the top most BJP leader to emerge from South, was made Vice President to send him away from politics. With BJP’s series of victories hitting a pause, the old guards are trying to come up again. ‘A’ team, as the leaders close to Advani are known in the party, has begun efforts to have an upper hand in 2019 elections.
Beginning from UP
The change will begin from Uttar Pradesh, which is responsible for BJP getting clear majority in the country. With 71 Lok Sabha seats and 325 Assembly seats, BJP became the dominant political force in UP. The party leaders know that it will be impossible to repeat the performance of 2014 and 2017. Amit Shah acted on his own in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections to achieve the victory. He checkmated his rivals with social engineering. Now the situation has changed. The party faced defeat in the by-elections in UP. RSS fielded Gordhan Zadafia, a leader from Gujarat but considered critic of Modi and Amit Shah. Zadafia is known in the party as a man who took on Modi and Shah. He has differences with them. However, due to the inevitable situation Zadafia has been given the responsibility of election incharge of the party for 2019 elections. This is seen as a key development in the party. BJP is preparing a constituency wise plan to win the elections. RSS is also becoming a part of this exercise. Their plan is to cut the role of Shah to the maximum extent possible.