The structure of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s new state executive committee, announced on Wednesday, shows that the opposition party is getting into a poll mode though Uttarakhand assembly elections are still one year away.
State BJP chief Ajay Bhatt constituted the 84-member committee – its announcement deferred thrice since his election on December 31 – keeping in mind the next assembly polls, the first big challenge he faces as the party leader.
He has sought to strike a caste and regional balance and has not ignored party veterans while giving the youth their due place in his team.
“It is a mix of our party’s young and veteran leaders, which will prove to be quite useful in effectively running our party’s campaign for the assembly polls,” Bhatt said.
“Veteran members will prepare our party’s campaign strategy whereas energetic young members will execute it in the run-up to the 2017 elections,” he told HT on Thursday.
BJP insiders said Bhatt had given equal representation to women, scheduled castes and other backward classes (OBCs) in the panel.
The executive committee consists of eight vice-presidents, eight secretaries, four general secretaries and 51 permanent invitees.
Members of the committee and special invitees were yet to be appointed, said state BJP spokesperson Virendra Singh Bisht.
Among the four general secretaries, former minister Khajan Das from Garhwal is from the SC community. “By inducting Das into his team our new president has tried to establish the party’s Dalit face in Garhwal,” said Abhimanyu Kumar, a senior state BJP leader.
“It is also an attempt to strike a regional balance as our party already has a Dalit face in Kumaon,” he said, referring to Ajay Tamta, the BJP’s Member of Parliament from Almora.
Two newly appointed vice-presidents – Rajkumari Giri and Vinay Rohilla – are OBCs. “Women have also got a fair representation in the state executive committee,” Kumar said.
“Besides, most party leaders inducted into the executive committee are young and many of them below 50,” he said, referring to BJP legislator from Khatima Pushkar Singh Dhami, former RSS worker Kedar Joshi and Jai Prakash Gairola who have been picked as vice-presidents.
“Most of these young leaders being dynamic and articulate will come in handy in carrying out the party’s election campaign,” Kumar said, adding that they would be able to expose the ruling party’s failures on governance, law and order and development.
The young leaders would also explain to the electorate how “this (Congress) government is trying to fail a series of schemes the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre has introduced for the state,” Kumar said.