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Amit Shah expands Shivraj Chouhan’s role in BJP, gets him to head recruitment drive

As Shivraj Chouhan is a senior OBC leader and one of the more popular ones, BJP wants to use his clean image in furthering its membership drive.

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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to utilise the services of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the organisation. The senior leader was Thursday made the in-charge of the party’s ambitious membership drive to further enhance its cadre base across the country.

Chouhan’s appointment was made at a meeting attended by national office-bearers, state presidents, state in-charges and (organisational) general secretaries in New Delhi. Sources said the move is a vote of confidence in Chouhan’s abilities by party chief Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

While Chouhan has been given a responsibility in the party, two other former chief ministers, Raman Singh and Vasundhara Raje, both of whom have been appointed as national vice-presidents, are yet to be given a new task. The trio had lost power in the assembly polls in December last year.

Sources said that as Chouhan is a senior OBC leader and one of the more popular ones, the party wants to use his clean image in furthering its membership drive.

Chouhan will be assisted by Dushyant Gautam, a national vice-president; Suresh Pujari, the party’s national secretary, Shobha Surendran, who is part of the BJP executive, and party leader from Rajasthan Arun Chaturvedi.

The post was earlier held by Dinesh Sharma, the Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister.

Focus on increasing members

The party leaders, sources said, have been given charge to increase membership by at least 3 crores. It now stands at 11 crores.

Rahul Sinha, former BJP chief for West Bengal, said Shah has directed the leaders to strengthen the party in regions it doesn’t have a strong base.

“A detailed discussion on the states where the organisation isn’t robust or needs special attention took place,” Sinha said. “The party chief told the state units to strengthen the organisation.”

BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said Shah wanted the party to further expand its base. “Amit Shah has said that the BJP hasn’t reached its peak yet,” Yadav said. “He said we need to increase the membership base by 20 per cent.”

Also read: ‘Hum se kya bhool hui’: Why Shivraj Singh Chouhan is singing a sad song at BJP rallies


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