Amit Shah 2.0
The BJP took a decision which had been described as a foregone conclusion by many. I myself has written sometime back, that Amit Shah was set to be given another term as BJP president. The big question is what does Mr Shah now needs to do to improve the BJP's position?
In 2014, he was the first partner of King Modi. The Lok Sabha victory was followed by a string of successes in the State Assemblies. Then Delhi happened and Arvind Kejriwal turned out to be too steep a climb for King Modi and his protege Amit Shah. After that, Bihar happened and the Lalu-Nitish duo turned the Lok Sabha results on their head and trounced the BJP combine. It's from this point onwards that Mr Shah seemingly lost his mojo. Here's a quick guide that can enable Mr Shah to repackage himself as Shah 2.0
First things first, make peace with the Margdarshak Mandal. Agreed that Advani and Joshi aren't the mass leaders they used to be but they remain the elders, whose view must be sought, counsel must be adhered. The best thing about having a structure with several stake holders is that when the story is right, you can still claim huge credit for the success. But when it goes wrong, you will have many more shoulders to share the blame. Making peace with a group which has not met even once in the last two years will certainly go down well.
Two: invest in local leaders. There is absolutely no reason why the BJP shouldn't have projected Sushil Modi as its CM candidate in Bihar. Or Dr Harshavardhan in Delhi. Just like there is no reason why the party shouldn't be projecting someone in the biggest electoral battle of all in Uttar Pradesh. The decision on who to project should be taken now. Whatever inner party rebellion has to take place would have already settled down by the time the State goes into election battle mode.
Three : Need to be more accessible. Many BJP MP's claim that the access to the party president is limited. Having started as a BJP beat reporter, I have known Rajnath Singh for several years now. There has never been a single occasion when a trip to his house would not have resulted in me seeing at least a hundred people assembled outside his residence. The accessibility needs to be more visible
Four: Change the set of advisors. There is an urgent need to have people who are far more clued into what's happening on the ground. A trait which LK Advani had in abundance. That's one reason why old time watchers of BJP reminisce often about the Atal Advani duo being a Ram Milaye jodi for BJP. For Shah-Modi to be in that mould, the team certainly needs to change.
Five : Amit Shah's position needs to be clear. Is he in charge of ensuring that BJP comes back to power again in 2019? Or is he a potential chief minister of Gujarat. Answer to this question may actually lead to resolutions of several dilemmas for BJP.