The joke doing the rounds in party circles last week was that the BJP president had his blood pressure checked twice—once in the party office and once at home—on Tuesday, when it became clear that Mahajan was to be accommodated as party general secretary. The buzz at the party HQ is that there's a likelihood of Mahajan upstaging Naidu but no one is willing to speculate on whether he will eventually get the top job in the party.
Advani has gone out of his way to emphasise that at the heart of the reshuffle was the induction of Arun Jaitley and not Mahajan's ouster. "The starting point was when (PM Atal Behari) Atalji said he wanted Arun back in the cabinet," he said. Naidu maintained that he had agreed, "provided I get an as good or better replacement for Arun. Several names were discussed and we decided on Pramod".