Kolkata: Every political party goes through a transitional phase when the veterans pass on the mantle to a new crop of leaders who set on a mission to carry forward the legacy.
In BJP, there have already been murmurs on who after the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah-Rajnath Singh trio. At this point of time, it would be way too nascent to suggest that Prime Minister Modi would hang up his political boots after the 2024 elections despite the age factor (he will be 73 then), but the saffron unit would have to plan with an eye on the future. Would it be Nitin Gadkari or Yogi Adityanath? Fingers crossed!
But amid this successor dynamics, one young man is slowly and steadily rising in the ranks and making an impact with his adroit and astute sense of political and administrative perspective. He is none other than former BCCI president and the incumbent Union sports and information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur. Though there has been no official endorsement on the Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh) MP’s nurturing as the Man of the Future, it may not be imprudent to push him up the order in the days to come.
The man in his ’40s has time in hand, within the limited opportunities he has been entrusted with, the son of former HP chief minister PK Dhumal has shown enough indications that he means business. Thakur’s previous stint as minister of state for finance may have been low profile, but he was swift to take up the cudgels on behalf of the government whenever diatribes were hurled from the opposition.
Thakur’s elevation to the Cabinet rank with the I&B and sports portfolios lends credence to the fact that he has the blessings of the Modi-Shah duo.
And Thakur seems to be charting the right path. Sans any iota of arrogance, Thakur was generous enough to invite his predecessor in the sports ministry, Kiren Rijiju during the felicitation ceremony of Olympic silver-medalist Mirabai Chanu — a gesture that has earned him plaudits across party lines.
The rousing welcome he has been showered with during his visit to his home state vindicates his credibility with the people.
Thakur’s critics could go hammer and tongs on him over his inflammatory statement while campaigning during the Delhi polls, but to scuttle his prospects on that ground would be bereft of logic and objectivity, not that we endorse what he said but perhaps he had a point. People not shying away from using the choicest in the public sphere are exonerated, there’s no harm giving Thakur a chance to redeem himself – even keeping in mind the row around his appointment to the post of the BCCI president.
Thakur is educated, polished and has an illustrious pedigree – he is soft-spoken yet rises to the occasion if the situation demands. Thakur’s stint with the BCCI brought him pan-India recognition which could be further capitalised to expand the party’s base under a youth leader. The fact that he was never really thrusted into state politics by the BJP high command underlines the national role, the powers that be in BJP envisages for Thakur.
It is too early to gauge what the BJP seniors are contemplating, but sincerely speaking, if at all, Thakur is foisted as the Man to take over in the future, eyebrows should not be raised. If a man crucified for allegedly fomenting communal tension, goes on to occupy the PM’s chair, Thakur with no major indelible stain on his career so far, has the acuity to discharge bigger responsibilities diligently.
Here’s just a suggestion!