New Delhi: With Delhi elections over, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now all set for a major organisational rejig by the end of the month, ThePrint has learnt.
Multiple BJP sources have told ThePrint that party president J.P. Nadda is busy consulting with state units and leaders before announcing the changes.
This will be the first organisational rejig in the BJP after Nadda took over from Amit Shah on 20 January. Nadda has been elected for a term of three years.
After taking over as BJP president in 2014, Shah had formed a new team and, more or less, that same team has been functioning until now.
The question that is now being raised in BJP circles is whether Nadda will retain Shah’s team or he will go for a complete makeover?
“With the party suffering a string of losses — right from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and now Delhi, we are waiting to see if major changes will be made and whether the team set by the previous BJP chief Amit Shah will be retained largely, and merely cosmetic changes will be made or will Naddaji will go for a complete makeover,” said a senior BJP leader.
Party sources, however, said in-charges of Bihar and West Bengal — Bhupender Yadav, considered a close aide of Amit Shah, and Kailash Vijayvargiya, respectively — might not see a change in their responsibilities.
Yadav and Vijayvargiya are the party’s national general secretaries.
“Yadav is in-charge of Bihar where elections will be held later this year and next year in West Bengal. So there are chances that they may not be changed. But it is yet to be decided,” said a second BJP leader.
According to the constitution of the party, the BJP cannot have more than 15 vice-presidents, nine national general secretaries, 15 national secretaries and one general secretary (organisation).
At present, according to a party functionary, there are 12 national vice-presidents, 13 national secretaries and eight national general secretaries.
Murlidhar Rao, Anil Jain, Saroj Pandey, Ram Madhav, Arun Singh are among the eight national general secretaries.
Nadda had held a meeting with the national general secretaries Wednesday during which it was decided that the expansion programmes of the party will be streamlined.
State leaders likely to find place at national level
Nadda has already asked the state units to send their suggestions with names of those who should be made part of the new organisational set-up and have been performing well in the states.
“A letter has been sent to all the state units, asking them for their recommendations. It is likely that some of the names from the states will find a place at the national level,” said the second BJP leader quoted above.
According to the leader, several leaders have given suggestions that those functionaries, who have been performing well at the state level, should be made part of the national team.
A BJP source said RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal, who coordinates between the RSS and the BJP, is also expected to give his suggestions for the new team.
“His inputs will be vital for close coordination between the RSS and the BJP,” added the source.
Most state unit chiefs retained so far
The party has, so far, retained most of the state unit chiefs, although it has announced a few new names too.
For instance, in West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Maharashtra, the party has continued with the same chiefs.
Dilip Ghosh was retained as the Bengal chief, so was Ravinder Raina in J&K, Ranjit Kumar Das in Assam, Swatantra Dev Singh in Uttar Pradesh and Chandrakant Patil in Maharashtra.
The state unit of BJP in Madhya Pradesh got a new president Saturday with the appointment of Vishnu Dutt Sharma, who replaced Jabalpur MP Rakesh Singh.
Appointment of party chief for Delhi was on hold due to the assembly elections and is expected to take place now. BJP MP Manoj Tiwari is the current Delhi BJP president.
“Though Manoj Tiwari had offered to resign, he was told to continue, as the new Delhi BJP chief had to be elected (anyway), but it was delayed because of elections,” said a third senior BJP leader.
The third BJP leader said some changes will be made at the top level.
“Both Shah and Nadda have a different style of functioning and this will be reflected in the changes that will be made at the organisational level. There won’t be too many changes at the top but there will definitely be some changes. The major change will be visible in the middle level as there is greater scope there too. This will ensure that the party’s functioning is not affected and work will go on smoothly,” said the leader.
“Also, there is no point changing someone for the heck of it. If they have been performing well, the question (to change them) doesn’t arise,” the leader added.
B.L. Santosh, the general secretary (organisation), is also likely to play a key role in making the changes in the party’s set-up.
“Much before the election of the national president, the party had changed the general secretary (organisation). The post that was held by Ram Lal was handed over to B.L. Santhosh. This change was made after more than a decade or so. He will also have a say in the organisational changes,” said the leader.
According to a fourth BJP leader, there are a number of vacant positions, including that of vice-presidents, and the priority will be to fill up those positions.
“There are many vacancies as far as the posts of vice-presidents are concerned. A few general secretaries could also be changed. At the same time, secretaries, rajya prabhari will also be looked into. Naddaji is now a full-fledged president, so he will definitely form a new team that will be there for the three years. Some of the states will have elections, for example Uttar Pradesh. So we will have to appoint in-charges for those states too,” said the leader.
Party spokespersons, media panelists may be changed
According to the third BJP leader: “As far as the organisation of the BJP is concerned, it is the post of the general secretary that is considered quite significant. Some changes are expected here as Arun Singh (the current national general secretary) recently became a Rajya Sabha MP and may be assigned a different role in the party or the government.”
In the BJP, the general secretaries are those who keep a stock of the party’s activities and day-to-day affairs.
The BJP is also likely to make changes as far as the party spokespersons and media panelists are concerned.
“Some new faces might be introduced especially those who have domain knowledge of the economy. Some grooming will be required so a decision will be taken on this soon,” said the fourth BJP leader.