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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Headless for 3 months, BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit may get a chief soon

BJP secretary in Tamil Nadu R Srinivasan, general secretary Vanathi Srinivasan, and youth wing leader AP Muruganandam are also said to be contenders for the party chief’s position in the state.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2019 23:50 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP has been without a chief since Tamilisai Soundararajan  (on PM Narendrra Modi’s right) was appointed governor of Telangana in September.
The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP has been without a chief since Tamilisai Soundararajan (on PM Narendrra Modi’s right) was appointed governor of Telangana in September.(Photo: PTI)
         

The visit of two top leaders of the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit to New Delhi on Tuesday has fuelled speculation that the party could announce a state unit president to fill up the post which has been vacant since Tamilisai Soundararajan was appointed governor of Telangana in September.

A BJP leader familiar with the developments said that the party may also appoint four working presidents along with a state unit chief.

Former Union minister and the BJP’s former chief of the Tamil Nadu unit, Pon Radhakrishnan and BJP state unit’s vice president and former state minister Nainar Nagenthiran flew to New Delhi on Tuesday after the party high command summoned them.

“As the then BJP state president Tamilisai Sounderarajan was appointed as the Governor of Telangana state, she vacated the party post in September first week. Even after more than three months no new state unit chief has been appointed. As our senior leader La Ganesan and H Raja said that the new head would be announced in the first or second week of December, Radhakrishnan and Nagenthiran’s Delhi visit at the request of High Command has spawned speculation of appointing a president soon for BJP in Tamil Nadu,” said a senior leader of the party who did not wish to be named.

He also said the state unit chief of the BJP could either be elected or it could be a direct appointment.

“Almost all the district president elections have completed now. So, the state will BJP will get its new head in the upcoming days. In view of the party’s quest for growth, four working presidents may also be appointed for Tamil Nadu. Each of the working presidents would focus on certain regions which would be allocated to them in the state,” he added.

While Pon Radhakrishnan belongs to the OBC Nadar caste, Nagenthiran, a former AIADMK leader from Tirunelveli district belongs to the dominant Mukkulathor or Thevar caste. Nadars and Thevars are numerically prominent in Southern Tamil Nadu.

BJP secretary in Tamil Nadu R Srinivasan, general secretary Vanathi Srinivasan, and youth wing leader AP Muruganandam are also said to be contenders for the party chief’s position.

BJP national working president JP Nadda was in Chennai on Saturday and the visit of Radhakrishnan and Nagenthiran is being seen as part of the exercise to appoint a BJP chief in the state.

Nagenthiran and Radhakrishnan were not reachable for comments. Karu Nagararajan, one of the BJP’s secretaries in the state said, “While I don’t want to comment on our leaders’ Delhi visit, I hope that Tamil Nadu BJP would get a new president this month.”