Over the past one year, the BJP has lost many senior party leaders who had played a crucial role in strengthening the party in its initial days. Every such demise has come as a big loss to the BJP and the entire nation. Gopinath Munde had passed away in 2014 itself, a few days after the BJP stormed to power at the centre with an absolute majority for the first time. In the recent past, BJP went on to lose leaders like Anil Dave, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manohar Parrikar and Anant Kumar.
The BJP had not yet recovered from these losses when it lost two stalwarts- Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley in the ongoing month. These leaders, among others, are seen as the first generation leaders of the BJP who had played a crucial role in ensuring the party’s rise in the years following its establishment. Today, the BJP enjoys absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and has been able to expand its presence into several such states where it traditionally enjoyed little or no presence. But those who have a fair idea of Indian politics and have followed the BJP’s rise over the years would realise that it has not been an easy journey. The first generation leaders have taken the party to the level that it has reached after decades of commitment and dedication.
Since 2014, the BJP’s top leadership in the form of PM Modi and the present Union Home Minister Amit Shah has successfully taken over from the first generation leaders. This also shows what the BJP’s first generation leaders were good at. They had the ability to recognise talent and promote it at a national level. Today PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have emerged as statesmen as the first generation leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee recognised the talent of leaders like Modi and Shah and gave them the chance of taking up bigger roles as far as political leadership was concerned.
Now, it is upto the present leadership of the party to ensure that a second generation leadership of the BJP takes the party ahead. In a way, it can be said that PM Modi and Amit Shah are playing a crucial transitional role in the party. While they can’t be classified as first generation leaders of the BJP, they don’t fall in the category of the second generation either. These two exemplary leaders not only have to take the party forward but also ensure that the second generation leadership of the party is ready to manage the leadership vacuum in the BJP which has been created after the untimely and saddening demise of several first generation leaders.
If we see today, many parties in India are facing leadership crisis. The Congress is revolving around the Gandhi family and RJD has disintegrated after Lalu went to jail. In TMC, after Mamata there is no leader who can be effective enough to lead. The BSP is also in the same situation.
It is imperative for the Modi-Shah duo to work on a plan and identify the next generation leaders. Many such leaders are either already part of the cabinet at this time or are involved in the politics of different states. Let us take a look at such leaders today who can take the responsibility of leading the BJP in the coming time.
The first name that comes to mind as far as the second generation of BJP leader is concerned, is that of Ram Madhav. He is the National General Secretary of the party. He is seen as the man behind BJP’s rise in the north-eastern states. He gets the mandate for formulating poll strategy for Assam and other states. Apart from this, he has been a former member of the National Executive of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Another second generation leader is Anurag Thakur, who has been elected from Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat for a consecutive foruth time. He has also been made a Union Minister of State for Finance. He has also served as a Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha President when he had taken out ekta yatra from Kolkata to Srinagar for unfurling the Tricolour. The 44-year-old Thakur was the President of BCCI from May 2016 to February 2017. Anurag received the Best Young MP award in 2011.
The third name in the list is Nityanand Rai. Nityanand Rai has been made the Minister of State for Home in the Central Government. He, along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has played an important role in getting many bill amendments passed. Nityanand Rai was given the command of Bihar BJP in the year 2016. He played a big role in strengthening BJP in Bihar. Nityanand Rai defeated a candidate like RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections this time.
Baijayant “Jay” Panda
Although Baijayant “Jay” Panda lost the Lok Sabha election this time but he is counted in the category of intellectual leaders like Arun Jaitley. Baijayant “Jay” Panda is the national vice president and official spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Poonam Mahajan is the daughter of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan. After the death of her father in 2006, Poonam entered politics. After working in the party organization for a few years, she was made the BJP’s national vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha in 2010. She is a keen orator and leads the party on many issues.
G Kishan Reddy
G Kishan Reddy is currently the Minister of State for Home Affairs. G Kishan Reddy is playing an important role in keeping India safe from the dangers of terrorism under his supervision with Amit Shah. He was born in Thimpur, a backward village in Andhra Pradesh, and rose to the rank of national leader. In his college days, he took the initiative to organize awareness programs that highlighted the government’s apathy towards tackling terrorism.
There are many leaders in many states who can play an important role in national level politics.
Sudhir Mungantiwar’s name comes first among them. Currently he is the Finance Minister in Devendra Fadnavis’s cabinet in Maharashtra. Prior to this he has also been the President of Maharashtra BJP. In the year 2017, under his leadership the Department of Finance and Forests received ISO certification.
Captain Abhimanyu is on his way to becoming a big BJP leader in future. Currently, he is the senior cabinet minister in the BJP government in Haryana and has responsibility for 8 important departments like Finance, Revenue and Excise. Captain Abhimanyu has also been the national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He was made co-incharge of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, given his vast experience in conducting organizational activities and deep understanding of land related issues. Captain Abhimanyu is progressive, positive and pragmatic and is considered a symbol of new generation politics. Despite serving in the Indian Army for nearly 6 years and qualifying the country’s most prestigious civil service exam in 1994 in his first attempt, he thought it appropriate to step into politics.
Mansukh L. Mandaviya
Mansukh L. Mandaviya is currently the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemicals and Fertilizers in the Government of India. He holds a Masters degree in Political Science from Bhavnagar University. After starting his political career in the mid-nineties, he has become a respected politician of the common people in a very short time.
There are many such leaders who are still playing their roles from behind the scenes and have the ability to lead when the time comes. And the list of such leaders is quite long. This clearly means that there can never be a leadership crisis in a party where leaders are elected through democratic means.
The BJP’s future is surely in safe hands. The party’s second generation leadership is now expected to take the party further from where the first generation has left it.