BJP on the lookout for saffron-tinged Padma awardees, legal eagles, players & film stars

New Delhi:  With an eye on the 2019 general elections, the BJP chief Amit Shah has asked the party’s national general secretaries and state in-charges to furnish him with lists of right-leaning Padma awardees, famous educationists, star sportspersons, top lawyers and other non-politicians. They have also been asked to be on the lookout for young entrepreneurs and professionals working for MNCs on handsome packages.

Glamour and freshness

The party may field some of them as its candidates in the 2019 general elections. Sources said that at least 2-3 such candidates will be fielded from each major state. The party feels that this would infuse some degree of freshness and glamour into its list of candidates.

The party is already contacting the probables to obtain their consent.

Nana, Akshay, Anupam

Among those who have been contacted are film star Rishi Kapoor, who was proposed to be fielded from Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab.  However, he declined the offer. It is believed that Akshay Kumar has given his consent to contesting from Gurdaspur. Anupam Kher may be fielded from New Delhi and Nana Patekar from one of the seats in Maharashtra.


Narendra Modi with Anupam Kher at a function in Hyderabad in 2009 (file photo)

Young professionals

Young professionals have played a key role in the implementation of various flagship schemes of the Modi Government. More than 350 professionals, including some who have worked for the World Bank, UNO, McKinsey & Company, P&G etc and hold degrees in management, patent law and other highly specialised areas.

Citizens for Accountable Governance

The Modi Government had started the process of associating professionals with government through Citizens for Accountable Governance campaign. A large number of IIM, IIT and Delhi University graduates joined the initiative. If Modi returns to power in 2019, these professionals would be accommodated in bodies like NITI Aayog. Some may be drafted into the offices of cabinet ministers to assist them.

A senior minister says, “Initially, we were apprehensive that the young professionals and the bureaucracy may not gel. But the experience of the past three years has shown that it is not so.”

(Story: Santosh Kumar)