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BJP working President JP Nadda pays tribute to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at BJP Headquarters (ANI)
BJP working President JP Nadda pays tribute to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at BJP Headquarters (ANI)

BJP staring at leadership vacuum after successive demise of party veterans

  • BJP lost five senior leaders in last one year
  • Swaraj and Jaitley have groomed an entire generation of BJP leaders who are currently holding high offices in the NDA government

The demise of five of its senior leaders in the last 12 months has created a leadership vacuum in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Although former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was politically inactive for long due to prolonged illness, the ruling party has lost three leaders — Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, and Ananth Kumar -- who virtually became the national face of the party after the 2004 Lok Sabha elections when National Democratic Alliance (NDA) lost to Congress.

The sudden demise of the three top leaders who along with M Venkaiah Naidu, now the Vice President of India, had countered Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) from 2004 till 2014 when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of the country.

With the passing away of the core of BJP's Delhi leadership, the party now has leaders who have not spent much in Delhi in the past. Both Swaraj and Jaitley led the political narrative for BJP inside and outside Parliament. The demise of former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar in March this year has also created a vacuum for BJP both in the state and at the national level.

Interestingly, Swaraj and Jaitley have virtually groomed an entire generation of BJP leaders who are at present holding high offices in the NDA government. Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad have closely worked with them in the past.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah are both from Gujarat, while union minister Nitin Gadkari was asked to shift from Maharashtra earlier and defence minister Rajnath Singh continues to maintain his close ties with Uttar Pradesh.

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