Will RSS ideologue Vinay Sahasrabuddhe be able to reduce the state government’s increasing dominance over the BJP is a question doing the rounds in the party.
Sahasrabuddhe takes up the mantle of the state BJP in-charge replacing Ananth Kumar at a time when several party leaders feel the organisation needs to rejuvenate itself to broaden its base in the state.
Ananth Kumar was assigned the responsibility in the year 2007, a year before the assembly elections, in the backdrop of turmoil within the party which had seen rebellion by Uma Bharti against the coronation of Shivraj Singh Chouhan as the chief minister in 2005.
The party’s vote percentage came down from 42.50% in 2003 to 37.70% in 2008 and number of seats from 173 to 143.
Read:Sahasrabuddhe is new in-charge of BJP in MP
In the 2013 assembly elections, the party, however, regained its lost ground considerably to take its tally to 165 while polling 44.88% votes.
Thus, Ananth Kumar played his role not only in 2008 and 2013 assembly elections but also in 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The fundamental difference between Ananth Kumar and Sahasrabuddhe is while the former happens to be politician to the core who has got a good deal of electoral knowledge, the latter is an organisational man who has never plunged into electoral politics and whose competence is in training party workers.
"Lack of experience in electoral politics was the reason why he couldn’t do much on the publicity and campaign front during recent Maharashtra assembly elections. The party leadership in Maharashtra believes that had he effectively strategised the party’s publicity campaign the party would have got at least 20 seats more," said a senior BJP leader talking to the Hindustan Times.
Another leader said, "Vinay Sahasrabuddhe comes at a time when there is no turmoil in the party and the party is blindly following the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan irrespective of its state president. The party seems to have been reconciled to Chouhan’s charisma and now the Modi magic bailing it out in every situation. This is a major concern within the party."