Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party president Manoj Tiwari rejigged his team with the announcement of 35 office bearers on Sunday, ahead of the upcoming civic polls.
The 35 members will be a part of the executive committee, which oversees the party’s functioning. Around a dozen of them are new faces while the remaining served the party in different capacities.
Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Shazia Ilmi was made a vice president.
Party insiders said Tiwari may include four more members — two vice presidents and two secretaries — to the executive committee within a week. He is likely to announce the names during the committee meeting scheduled for January 17-18.
“As per the constitution of the party, the number of appointments is fixed. However, with the national president’s permission, the state president can increase numbers of office bearers. If he thinks, the organisation requires more people to strengthen of the party, the state chief can accommodate more leaders,” said a source. The source quoted the tenures of former Delhi BJP presidents Vijay Goel and Dr Harsh Varshan as examples.
Sources privy to the development said though the party has tried to strike a “caste balance” in the appointments, people close to a former state president and national BJP president Shyam Jaju have found spots in the new executive committee.
“Tiwari wants to bring ‘his people’ in the committee. Hence four more appointments are likely to be made. A former district president and a former MLA are frontrunners for the posts,” a source said.
The appointment is Ilmi’s first formal post in the BJP since she left AAP in May 2014. Insiders said the party is banking on Tiwari and Ilmi to dent the AAP vote bank in the upcoming municipal elections.
Including Ilmi, nine women leaders have been accommodated in the committee. Former chief of Delhi BJP women’s wing, Kamaljeet Sehrwat, was made a vice president.
Of the nine secretaries, four are women. Former east Delhi mayor Meenakhi is also a secretary in the committee.
Former north Delhi mayor Ravinder Gupta and councillor from Rajinder Nagar, Rajesh Bhatia, were appointed as general secretaries along with Kuljeet singh Chahal, who was Shahdara district president.
Siddharthan was retained as general secretary (organisation).
Mohan Singh Bisht, a poorvanchali face, was appointed as vice president along with Shikha Rai, Jai Prakash, Rajeev Babbar, Sardar Kulwant Singh Baath, and Abhay Verma. Bisht was an MLA from Karawal Nagar. Verma was convenor of Poorvanchal Cell and contested election from Laxmi Nagar seat. Rai, Prakash, and Verma have been retained as vice president. Babbar was a spokesperson in the previous committee. Chahal was also a vice president.
Poonam Parashar, wife of former Kirari MLA Anil Jha, is the new president of the women’s wing Mahila Morcha. She was serving as secretary.
Sunil Yadav was appointed as the president of the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), while Harish Khurana is among the six spokespersons appointed.
Gaurav Khari will head the OBC Morcha of Delhi BJP.