Amit Shah, India’s Home Minister, is likely to continue as chief of the ruling BJP for at least six more months, during which the party’s internal elections will be held, sources say.
A final decision on whether the BJP will elect a new president right away or after its organizational polls will be taken in meetings the party chief will hold over the next few days.
Amit Shah will meet with all BJP state chiefs and general secretaries on Thursday to start the process for the organizational elections.
The poll dates and a membership drive are likely to be discussed in the meeting. A party leader said it may take several months before the organisational polls are over. The process may stretch till October-November, said a leader.
Amit Shah, 54, is credited with the BJP’s spectacular 300-plus tally in the national election, a result of meticulous planning and strategy that included a focus on states where the party had negligible presence.
Soon after the BJP president joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, there was speculation about his successor. The possibility of him straddling both responsibilities appeared dim with the home ministry assigned to him.
Sources say with important elections ahead in party-ruled states like Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra, the party may not want Amit Shah to hand over the reins just yet.
Amit Shah’s three-year term as BJP president ended earlier this year, going by the party’s rulebook. He was asked to continue for the national election.
The BJP constitution allows another three-year term for a party president.
Sources say a decision on whether Amit Shah will continue as party chief until the internal elections are over will also be taken in tomorrow’s meeting.
The BJP won a huge mandate for a second term by winning 303 seats on its own, way above the majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha.