The new team of Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh, announced just before the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, has taken the the State unit of the party by surprise and is bound to intensify internal politics in the already fragmented organisation.
Insiders in the party find it difficult to believe that Kalraj Mishra, one of the senior most leaders, has been ‘adjusted’ only as a member of the national executive while former state BJP chief and ex PWD Minister Om Prakash Singh, who has had a long and devoted association with the Sangh Parivar, has been ignored completely.
Rajnath Singh, however, has given due importance to former chief minister Kalyan Singh, whom he has projected as chief ministerial candidate of the party and has also announced that the party would go to the poll in the State under his leadership. He has been re-nominated as national vice-president.
Firebrand leader Vinay Katiyar, who faced a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in Lakhimpur Kheri and later in Rae Bareli, where he contested against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and forfeited his deposit, has been given the important post of national general secretary.
The most surprising inclusion is, however, that of Hukum Singh, who has been included as national executive member despite being junior to many other BJP leaders of the State. Other executive members from the State are Maneka Gandhi, her son Varun Gandhi, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Dr Anil Jain of Firozabad, who is a doctor in the Apollo Hospital of Delhi, is special invitee in the BJP’s national executive, mainly because of his close proximity with Rajnath Singh.
A senior BJP leader said that Rajnath Singh’s team appeared to have been dictated by the Sangh Parivar in which Singh hardly had any say. This was evident by the ‘sacking’ of Sanjay Joshi from the all important post of all India organising secretary against the wishes of Rajnath Singh.
The new incumbent on the post, Ramlal, said a former BJP minister, was too senior to Sanjay Joshi, whom the RSS wanted to get rid of since the infamous CD incident in which Joshi was shown with a woman.
In fact, he said, Rajnath Singh did not want to meddle in the ongoing infighting within the State unit of the party and that was the reason he chose to leave the State in the ‘safe’ hands of Kalyan Singh, he added.
Meanwhile, the State BJP today advised the Samajwadi Party to give a second thought to its policy of minority appeasement at the cost of Hindus’ interests.
State BJP spokesman Hridaya Narain Dixit told reporters on Thursday that as per expectations, the Samajwadi Party was engineering communal riots to polarise Muslim votes and the police were adopting a partisan attitude in riot-torn Gorakhpur and other communally-disturbed areas at the behest of the Mulayam Government.
He urged the police officers not to dance to the tunes of Samajwadi Party leaders and Mulayam Government which would soon be out of power and the new government would obviously seek clarification on their anti-Hindu decisions.