New Delhi: With an eye on the coming Assembly elections, the BJP is likely to retain Amit Shah as its chief till December this year, said reports on Thursday.

Shah is the Union Home Minister in the Modi Cabinet following his win from Ahmedabad in the Lok Sabha elections. In keeping with the party’s one man, one post rule, Shah will not be holding the BJP chief post anyway.

Reports say that he will remain the party president till the coming state assembly polls are over. Earlier in the day, Shah had called a meeting of the national office bearers of the party. The meet was attended by the general secretaries and presidents of the BJP’s state units.

In the meeting, the party’s focus was on launching a membership drive. The saffron party aims at increasing its membership by 20 % before the assembly polls. Shah is expected to lead the party in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Maharashtra assembly polls which will be conducted later this year.

He is reported to have told his party colleagues at the meeting that the BJP hadn’t quite reached its peak even after getting 303 seats in the Lok Sabha. Speaking to media after the meeting, party leader Bhupendra Yadav said, “The party will first go for the membership drive. Organizational elections will happen only after that.”

Despite repeated queries on whether Shah would be leading the party, Yadav kept stressing on the membership drive. “We are going to initiate a new membership drive which takes place every three years. President has appointed Shivraj Singh Chauhan has appointed him as the convenor of this membership drive. Dushyant Gautam, Suresh Pujari, Arun Chaturvedi and Shobha Surendran will be vice-convenors of the membership drive,” he is reported to have said.

This team will soon tell the media about the new membership drive, the BJP leader said. On Shah’s address, Yadav said, “He said that three things had become a thorn in Indian politics – Jativaad (casteism), Parivaarvaad (dynasty politics), Sampradayvaad (communalism). The mandate of 2019 is a referendum against these

Yadav is one of the frontrunners for the party chief’s post. The other name is that of J P Nadda.

It must be noted that Shah’s three-year term as BJP chief ended earlier this year, but he was asked to continue till the completion of the national elections. BJP members will also be electing new state presidents for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the two states the party did much better than expected in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.