Speculations are rife that Amit Shah, known to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi's right-hand man, is gearing up to take over as the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party, after former chief Rajnath Singh took charge of a Cabinet portfolio.
"The odds are stacked in his favour. Most of the senior leaders are in his favour," a BJP leader told Hindustan Times, indicating Shah's good fortunes in the party.
Shah's prospects of taking over as party chief received a boost after his successful election campaign for the party in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the party unprecedentedly won 71 seats of the total 80 seats With Modi contesting from the religious town of Varanasi, Shah was charged with bringing the 'Modi Wave' to the state that has otherwise not been as generous towards the saffron party.
Shah is said to have worked for almost a year as the leader of the BJP unit in the state, and had strategically laid out the plan for the party keeping in mind the electoral dynamics of the caste-ridden state.
The BJP fielded 25 members of other backward castes or OBC and 17 from Scheduled Castes for the elections, and then balanced that with 16 Brahmin candidates and 14 Rajputs, according to an NDTV. Shah's leadership in the campaign gave BJP its best performance in the state, bettering its score of 57 seats out of 85 in 1998.
Shah's nomination for the party chief post received a further push after the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological head of the Bharatiya Janata Party, reportedly okayed his name.
Adding to Shah's credence is that the fact that he is endorsed by Modi himself, who had trusted him as his aide, when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister.
While BJP general secretary JP Nadda was also touted to be a strong contender for the post, recent reports have suggested that Shah has become the undisputed frontrunner.
According to the HT report, the party as well as the RSS is deciding on the right time to make the announcement, given that the Modi government is just a few weeks away from announcing its first budget.