New Delhi: In a much-awaited organisational reshuffle in the BJP, party national president J.P. Nadda Saturday announced his new team of office-bearers, dropping senior leaders like Ram Madhav, Anil Jain, Saroj Pandey and Muralidhar Rao from the post of national general secretary.
Other senior leaders like Uma Bharti, Prabhat Jha, Om Mathur, Shyam Jaju, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Avinash Rai Khanna, Renu Devi have been dropped from the posts of the party vice-president.
As general secretaries, the party inducted Dushyant Kumar Gautam, who earlier held the post of the vice-president, former minister Daggubati Purandhareswari, minister C.T. Ravi from Karnataka, Tarun Chugh, who was earlier the secretary from Punjab, and Dilip Saikia, MP from Assam.
Rajasthan MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has been reinstated as the party spokesperson.
Controversial Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya was appointed as the BJP youth morcha president in place of Maharashtra MP Poonam Mahajan.
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National general secretaries
While effecting the reshuffle, Nadda did not change the post of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s favourite Bhupendra Yadav, who is the in-charge of Bihar, chairman of the standing committee on law and also one of the floor managers in Rajya Sabha.
Nadda also didn’t change the position of Arun Singh, the in-charge of Jharkhand and a relative of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Kailash Vijayvargiya, in-charge of West Bengal, a crucial state for the BJP, was also retained.
Nadda, however, dropped Anil Jain from the list of BJP’s national general secretaries, despite him being a favourite of Shah.
Exit of Ram Madhav, who was looking after Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir, is also quite significant.
“It is known that he was not in the good books of Shah but he was handling many states and was the de facto foreign minister in the organisation. Exit of Saroj Pandey was expected,” said a BJP leader, who didn’t want to be named.
Muralidhar Rao, who was the in-charge of Karnataka, has been dropped to accommodate firebrand minister C.T. Ravi on BJP national general secretary (organisation) B.L. Santhosh’s recommendation, said party sources.
Santhosh’s influence on the reshuffle could be seen in the fact that it was due to his recommendation that Tejasvi Surya was inducted, a party source said, adding that it “looks more like a B.L. Santhosh team than a Nadda team”.
Continuance of Amit Malviya as the IT cell head is also due to Santhosh’s recommendation, despite senior leader Subramanian Swamy’s ultimatum to remove him, the source added.
Ram Madhav’s exit is also due to the fact that he is not on good terms with Santhosh, the source said.
A second BJP source said Saroj Pandey, who was looking after Maharashtra, was dropped as the general secretary due to her poor show in the state and Purandhareswari was accommodated in her place as she is more senior and will add her experience to work.
Chugh, who was also the party’s co-incharge in Delhi, has been elevated from the post of secretary to general secretary.
Despite complaints by state units, former CMs Vasundhara Raje and Raman Singh were retained as national vice-presidents.
“Vasundhara and Raman Singh are mass leaders, they are assets and the PM has confidence in them despite several leaders talking about Vasundhara ji,” Prabhat Jha told ThePrint.
Uma Bharti, Jha, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Shyam Jaju have been dropped as vice-presidents.
The new entrants are former agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, who hails from Bihar, where election is due, Raghuvar Das, who has no work in Jharkhand after appointment of Babu Lal Marandi as the leader of legislature party, and Bengal’s Mukul Roy, who was upset at being sidelined.
The second party source said Sahasrabuddhe’s exit is striking as he was inducted in the national team in 2014. The source also indicated that Sahasrabuddhe might be accommodated in the cabinet.
P. Abdullakutty from Kerala, one of the focus states for BJP, is another addition to the list of party vice-president.
Former minister of Maharashtra Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde’s entry as secretaries is significant because both were angry at being sidelined.
Satya Kumar and Sunil Deodhar retained their positions as national secretaries.
In its list of national spokespersons, the party inducted Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Aparajita Sarangi, who is an IAS-turned-MP from Odisha, Heena Gavit, MP from Maharashtra, Delhi BJP leader Nupur Sharma, Dalit Bihar leader Sanjay Paswan’s son Guru Prakash and Raju Bisht, MP from West Bengal.
Anil Baluni will continue to head the media cell despite his reluctance to head it, said party sources.
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