BJP leader Rajesh Agrawal | Twitter | @mrajeshagrawal
BJP leader Rajesh Agrawal | Twitter | @mrajeshagrawal
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New Delhi: The BJP organisational reshuffle Saturday saw the party finally appoint a treasurer, a post that has been vacant since 2014, when incumbent Piyush Goyal was elevated to the Union cabinet.

The post has been assigned to former Uttar Pradesh finance minister Rajesh Agrawal, who has earlier served as treasurer of the state BJP unit. Sudhir Gupta, a member of Parliament from Madhya Pradesh, has been appointed joint treasurer. 

Both Agrawal and Gupta have an RSS background, a party leader told ThePrint. Agrawal is one of at least 10 leaders from Uttar Pradesh who have found a place in the new team announced by the BJP under national president J.P. Nadda.

The post of treasurer was left vacant in the organisational appointments exercise held soon after Amit Shah took over as BJP president in 2014.  


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An RSS man

Agrawal, who hails from Bareilly, has been a member of the UP assembly for the last 25 years. He served as Deputy Speaker in the UP assembly from 2003 to 2007.

Until 2019, he was finance minister in the Yogi Adityanath government. He resigned from the post after turning 75, reportedly to honour “the policy of the party”.

Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who served as BJP president until last year, leaders aged above 75 are believed to be shifted out of active politics, to an advisory role.

“He had to resign after turning 75. When he didn’t find a place in the new state BJP under Swatantra Dev Singh, he was assured that he would be given some responsibility in the organisation,” said a senior BJP leader. “He is also considered quite close to former general secretary organisation Ram Lal, and is on good terms with PM Modi too.”

A second party functionary said the post has been given to Agrawal as he has experience in the role. 

“His experience as the finance minister will also help him handle the responsibility well. This is an important post as, for a party like the BJP, one has to look at accounts from the district to the state level. It requires a lot of supervision and someone has to do constant monitoring,” a third leader added.

One of the senior leaders who spoke to ThePrint said Agrawal was first “associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (the BJP’s ideological parent) and then joined the BJP”. 

“He is an organisation man and has also served as general secretary of Uttar Pradesh. His past experience as treasurer in the state unit of UP will come handy,” the leader added.

The joint treasurer

Gupta is an MP, who has won Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur seat for two consecutive terms since 2014. 

According to a senior BJP leader, Gupta has RSS roots as well and was also involved with the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). 

“He was part of the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign. He has been connected with the RSS for long, and was elected as the Member of Parliament from Madhya Pradesh twice,” said another leader.


Also Read: ‘Laal Salaam’ to ‘Jai Shri Ram’ — new book traces BJP’s unprecedented rise in West Bengal


 

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