Ramapati Ram Tripathi, one of the senior-most general secretaries of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh was appointed state unit chief. Considered close to BJP president Rajnath Singh, 56-year-old Tripathi replaces Kesari Nath Tripathi who had quit in the wake of the party’s dismal performance in the assembly polls.
By settling for another Brahmin leader, the BJP intends to rebuild its old support base by wooing the community, which supported Mayawati-led BSP in the last polls. The other dominant community in the state — Thakurs — are represented by Rajnath himself as the national party chief. Om Prakash Singh, a Kurmi leader, is the BJP leader in UP assembly.
Tripathi’s name made it from among four names that were under consideration. They included former UP BJP chief Kalraj Mishra, BJP kisan morcha head Vinod Pandey and former minister Mahendra Nath Pandey.
Tripathi found support from the RSS as he has been a general secretary of the state for the last 11 years. He has handled the Lok Sabha polls in 1999 as well as in 2004. He hails from Gorakhpur. “Tripathi’s appointment means that the will of Rajnath Singh has prevailed,” said a BJP functionary.
With Arun Jaitley, BJP general secretary who is the overall charge of UP, the Brahmins are central to the BJP’s revival plan, said other party leaders.