BJP chief Amit Shah has made some surprising omissions and inducted few fresh faces from Uttar Pradesh in his leaner national executive which state party leaders described as “balanced”.
The 111-member national executive list was announced in Delhi on Thursday.
The 30-member list from UP – where assembly polls are due in 2017 -- carries the unmistakable stamp of Shah, who seems to have focused on strengthening the party’s OBC-connect strategy in the state even as he chose to drop some party veterans from the list of invitees to the executive.
Prominent among those who have been dropped are former state chiefs Surya Pratap Shahi and Om Prakash Singh who were recently invited to attend the brainstorming session at Chitrakoot.
However, a leader refused to read too much into the omissions saying “even union minister Smriti Irani’s name is missing.” He added that under state in-charge Om Mathur the focus would be on moving ahead with a “consensus approach”.
BJP’s Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi, who had failed to find a place in Shah’s national team has, however, been retained along with his MP mother Maneka Gandhi, who is also a Union minister.
Shah has included two Lodh leaders -- Uma Bharti and Rajvir Singh – besides two controversial MPs, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Yogi Adityanath.
Other OBC faces to figure in national executive include former party chief Vinay Katiyar, union minister Santosh Gangwar, an MP, former MP SP Singh Baghel and Allahabad MP Keshav Maurya. Union minister Ram Shankar Katheria, an MP from Agra is the Dalit face.
Party spokesman Chandramohan described the list as balanced.
“UP BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai and general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal have welcomed the list,” the spokesman said.