New Delhi: The BJP’s newly appointed 23 national spokespersons are a mix of former ministers, retired civil servants, members of Parliament (MPs), academicians and tech entrepreneurs. The appointments were made Saturday.
BJP MP Anil Baluni will continue to be the chief spokesperson and media in-charge. While some of the older and experienced names such as Sambit Patra, Sudhanshu Trivedi, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Nalin S. Kohli have been retained, there are many new faces who will soon be seen on national television, defending the policies of the Modi government.
The party has also appointed four women leaders to these posts.
The list includes:
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, former minister
The MP from Jaipur Rural and a former Olympian, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore served as the Minister of State for Ministry of Youth Affairs in the first Modi government.
Aparajita Sarangi, former IAS officer
Sarangi had 11 years of service left when she decided to resign in 2018. She contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections at the Bhubaneswar constituency on a BJP ticket. Prior to resigning from the IAS, the Odisha-cadre officer was posted as a joint secretary in the Union Rural Development Ministry. A former municipal commissioner of Bhubaneswar, she defeated the BJD’s Arup Patnaik, the former Mumbai Police commissioner.
Iqbal Singh Lalpura, ex-IPS officer
Lalpura’s elevation as a national spokesperson is significant especially in the wake of the Shiromani Akali Dal’s exit from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). A Sikh face from Punjab, Lalpura had joined the BJP in 2012.
R.P. Singh, former Delhi MLA
Singh, who served as an MLA from Rajinder Nagar in Delhi, has also been the BJP national secretary.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP
The day Chandrasekhar was sworn in as the BJP MP from Karnataka, he also announced that he had resigned from the board of directors of Republic TV’s parent company, ARG Outlier Asianet News Private Limited.
Sanju Verma, former stock analyst
Verma served as the chief spokesperson of the BJP’s Maharashtra unit and has now been elevated to the position of a national spokesperson. She is one of four women to have been made a spokesperson by the party.
Nupur Sharma, former DUSU president
Sharma was a part of the Delhi BJP’s media team. She studied economics at Hindu College, law at DU’s Faculty of Law and then went to the London School of Economics. Sharma is a regular on TV screens as a media panellist and a Delhi BJP spokesperson. Sharma was fielded for the first time by the party in the 2015 Delhi election against AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal too.
Heena Gavit, MP from Maharashtra’s Nandurbar
A doctor by profession, Gavit is among the youngest MPs. She joined the BJP in 2014. Her father, Vijaykumar Gavit, was a minister in the Congress-NCP government in the state.
Guruprakash, fellow at India Foundation & assistant professor at Patna University
Prakash hails from Bihar and is the son of BJP Legislative Councillor Sanjay Paswan, who is also a professor by profession. He is one of the two party spokespersons from the state.
Mmhonlumo Kikon, BJP MLA from Nagaland
Kikon is also the adviser for New and Renewable Energy, IT&C, Science and Technology, Nagaland.
Raju Bista, MP & managing director of Surya Roshni Limited
Bista represents the Darjeeling Parliamentary Constituency in West Bengal. He has an RSS background and was raised in Manipur. His appointment as a national spokesperson is being seen as part of the party’s outreach to the state’s Gorkha voter base. Assembly elections in West Bengal are scheduled to be held next year.
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