BJP-RSS prep for 2023 assembly polls with key new appointments

Published on Jul 23, 2022 02:46 PM IST

The BJP is banking on Jamwal, who has spent a considerable span of time in the north-east looking after organisational issues in the region, to sort out intra-party differences in both Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh

The Bharatiya Janata Party and RSS on Saturday began the process of streamlining organisational matters in states which will go to polls in 2023. (HT PHOTO.)
The Bharatiya Janata Party and RSS on Saturday began the process of streamlining organisational matters in states which will go to polls in 2023. (HT PHOTO.)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological mentor the Rashtriya Swayamevak Sangh (RSS) have begun the process of streamlining organisational matters in states, which will pick new assemblies in 2023. On Thursday, the party announced a new position for four general secretaries (organisation) with an eye on elections in those states.

It appointed Ajay Jamwal, who was the general secretary (organisation) in the north-eastern region to oversee party related issues in Madhya Kshetra (central region) which includes Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. In both the states the party is working hard to strengthen its cadre ahead of the assembly elections in 2023.

In Chhattisgarh, particularly after the party lost the last assembly election, the BJP has been trying to corner the Congress government and build a campaign against what it alleges is it’s “misrule”. The party has moved a no-confidence motion against the government in the state assembly and has cited the resignation of TS Singh Deo as proof of the government being in disarray.

“The Congress government has failed to deliver; a minister in the cabinet has made serious allegations against chief minister Bhupesh Baghel. There is rampant corruption in the state and people are looking for a change. At a time like this the BJP has sent a man with experience of running a sangathan (organisation) amid challenging circumstances,” said a senior party functionary.

The party is banking on Jamwal, who has spent a considerable span of time in the north-east looking after organisational issues in the region, to sort out intra-party differences in both Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

“There has been some friction in the party unit in both the states. There is a mood for change and bringing newer faces to the forefront and sometimes this leads to friction between the older, experienced set of leaders and the younger lot. Jamwal, will have the task of ironing out issues and rallying consensus on issues between the party and the Sangh,” the functionary said.

Manthri Srinivasalu who was the state general secretary (organisation) in Telangana will now head to Punjab. Telangana will also go to polls in 2023. “He is well versed in balancing politics and ideological issues. He played a key role in the party’s expansion in the state and was instrumental in getting senior leaders from other parties to join the BJP, including former Congress leader and minister DK Aruna and former MP K V Reddy,” said a second functionary.

Though there were reports of Srinivasalu and state unit president Sanjay Bandi being at loggerheads, the functionary said his move to Punjab is expected to bolster the party’s expansion in the state. “For years the BJP has been a junior partner the Shiromani Akali Dal. After the two parties broke their alliance, the BJP has been focusing on rebuilding its cadre on the ground. His networking abilities will be an advantage for the party,” the functionary said.

In Karnataka, which goes to polls next year, the state general secretary (organisation) Arun Kumar was repatriated back to the Sangh and Rajesh G V appointed in his place. In Karnataka the BJP is working doubly hard to ensure that it retains power in the assembly elections in 2023. The state has been in news over a spate of controversies in recent times and after a change in the leadership. “Rajesh is much younger than Arun Kumar, he has served as a full-time volunteer in the Dakshin Kannada region since 2010. He understands the contemporary challenges better and can work with the younger generation more efficiently,” said a state unit functionary.

Satish Dhond the general secretary (organisation) in Goa has been appointed joint general secretary (organisation) in West Bengal. Dhond, a former aide of late chief minister Manohar Parrikar, whom he later had a falling out with, is credited for bringing together a coalition of OBCs, Marthas and the so-called upper castes to support the BJP in the coastal state.

“He was sent to Goa in 2018 and was very close to Parrikar. He worked behind the scenes and is a quintessential sangathan man. It is perhaps his ability to work behind the scenes that prompted the party leadership to send him to West Bengal where the party is doggedly working on its expansion,” said the first functionary.”

A third functionary said Jamwal and Manthri’s experience in organisational matters is not the only reason for their new posting. “Since they had been in the same place for some time now, it is natural that they were seen as persons with clout. There were reports of disagreement between the sangathan mantris and the state office bearers, which paved the way for moving them to new places to avoid disruption in the party’s functioning,” said the third functionary.

He added, “There was a terse message from the top leadership in the Sangh and the BJP that sangathan mantris have to work as a bridge between the Sangh and the party, they cannot work as independent, parallel power centres.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Smriti covers an intersection of politics and governance. Having spent over a decade in journalism, she combines old fashioned leg work with modern story telling tools.

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