As the date for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national council meeting approaches, an intense exercise has begun to finalise the names for the team that will assist new party president Amit Shah.

The BJP national council will hold a day-long meeting at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on August 9 to ratify Shah’s appointment as party president.  Shah will announce his new team after the current session of Parliament ends, likely on August 14, said a senior BJP leader who did not want to be named.

Prominent among the new names being considered for the post of general secretaries are Ram Madhav and Shiv Prakash, marking a generational shift in the party’s leadership, insiders said. Both these men have recently been sent to the BJP by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the organisation that is the political party's ideological parent.

While Madhav has been the RSS spokesman, Prakash has been in charge of western Uttar Pradesh. Not only are the two likely to be made general secretaries, they are also expected to be given an important role in the party affairs.

Ram Madhav, in particular, is likely to be given the significant responsibility of coordination on three fronts – between the government and the BJP, the RSS and the party, and the government and the RSS.

“The kind of slot being carved out for Ram Madhav will make him virtually number two in the party after Amit Shah,” said a BJP leader who asked to remain anonymous.

General secretaries play a very important role in the functioning of the BJP. Not only are they part of the party president's team, which takes all important decisions, they also execute these decisions. In addition, they are responsible for overseeing the functioning of BJP units in the states as well as of other party organisations.

Previous party president, Rajnath Singh, had a team of ten general secretaries: Amit Shah, Ananth Kumar, Thawarchand Gehlot, JP Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan, Tapir Gao, Varun Gandhi, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Murlidhar Rao and Ram Lal.

While Amit Shah has become the BJP president, Ananth Kumar, Gehlot and Dharmendra Pradhan have become ministers in the Narendra Modi government. In addition, two more members from the previous team of general secretaries – JP Nadda and Murlidhar Rao – are likely to get new roles: Nadda as a minister and Rao as party vice president.

Besides Ram Madhav and Shiv Prakash, other names being considered for the post of general secretary are Anurag Thakur, Saroj Pandey, Sanjay Paswan and Sudhir Mungantiwar.

Thakur is the BJP youth wing chief and a Lok Sabha member from Himachal Pradesh. He is likely to be inducted as the general secretary in place of Nadda, another leader from Himachal Pradesh who had been in the race for the post of the party president.

Saroj Pandey, who heads the party's women wing, is a leader from Chhattisgarh. Sanjay Paswan, who was the union minister in the Vajpayee government, is likely to be the Dalit face in the new team of general secretaries. He is expected to fill the slot vacated by Thawarchand Gehlot. Mungantiwar is currently the BJP president in Maharashtra.

Amit Shah was appointed the BJP president on July 9, at a meeting of the party’s Parliamentary board, where Rajnath Singh resigned after being made a minister in the Modi government.