NEW DELHI: With numbers overwhelmingly in favour, the BJP has restricted consultations for picking up Vice Presidential nominee amongst the office-bearers, with the party chief Amit Shah and Organisational Secretary Ram Lal wrapping up the exercise to allow the Parliamentary Board to unveil the most likely successor of the incumbent Hamid Ansari within a few days.
“The BJP chief and part’s organisational secretary have completed the consultations with the office bearers and senior leaders. They asked each of the leaders separately of the kind of person who should grace the office of the Vice President. With the internal exercise done, the Parliamentary Board meeting could be called any day to announce the nominee,” sources close to the BJP chief told EXPRESS.
The consultation exercise for the top two Constitutional posts is, incidentally, in sharp contrast. The BJP chief had constituted a panel of three Union ministers – Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Arun jaitely – to hold wide consultations with all political parties for the Presidential election. But the saffron outfit has restricted the consultation for the Vice-Presidential nominee internal though sources said that the BJP chief will speak to the leaders of the NDA allies on the days of making the name public.
“It’s going to be a great occasion for the party, as all top four protocol posts – President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker – will be held by persons of the Jansangh (predecessor of BJP) ideology,” said a senior BJP functionary.
One of the top BJP leaders consulted by the party chief expressed his choice, saying that the “party should not pick a bureaucrat for the post of the Vice President”. “Now that we are very close to declaring the nominee for Vice-Presidential election, it seems that the choice could be one from the southern parts of the country.
However, there’s a remote chance of the Prime Minister surprising us by picking up a nominee from the North-east to send out a loud message to the region at a time when the BJP is seeking to replace the Congress and also for the fact that the war of perception with China needs to be won,” added the BJP functionary. Incidentally, the Southern and North-eastern parts of the country are regions high on BJP’s electoral expansion plan.
While the BJP had been in power in Karnataka, the party chief has set high ambition for Telangana and Kerala. In the North-east, the BJP led NDA is in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, while the party’s Sherpa for the region Hemant Bisse Sharma is reportedly working overtime to deliver the whole region to the saffron kitty.