New Delhi: Prior to Narendra Modi’s rise in the Bharatiya Janata Party, not many outside the state of Himachal Pradesh knew who J.P. Nadda was. His tenure as the Union health minister during Modi’s first term can hardly be called eventful.
The only prominent announcement to come out of his ministry was the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, a federal health insurance policy for poor that his ministry oversaw. However, as the prime minister himself hogged all the limelight for the much-touted scheme, Nadda was forced out of the public glare.
When the demure, soft-spoken and media-shy Nadda took over the reins of the BJP as the “working president”, soon after the newly-anointed Union home minister Amit Shah relinquished his position – as part of the saffron party’s ‘one person, one post’ doctrine – in June 2019, party insiders felt that the so-called regime change was barely of any significance.
Nadda isn’t considered a match for Shah at all. With Shah’s aggressive and action-packed stint of nearly six years as the precedent, most political observers feel that Nadda’s current reputation as the most trusted lieutenant of the Modi-Shah duo, more than any other qualitative aspect, earned him the coveted position that at a different time and age would have befitted a host of BJP heavyweights.