JP Nadda sets up new BJP team
The changes, made with an eye on state polls, have sparked speculation of coming cabinet reshuffleUpdated: Sep 27, 2020, 02:24 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced a new team nine months after the party appointed JP Nadda as its new president that comprises 12 vice presidents, eight general secretaries, three national joint secretaries and 13 secretaries, with almost 60% of the office bearers being new.
Members of Parliament in Rajya Sabha Saroj Pandey and Anil Jain, and Ram Madhav and P Muralidhar Rao have been dropped as national general secretaries, but their exclusion has sparked speculation of a coming cabinet reshuffle, with some of them being accommodated.
The changes have seen the appointment of party functionaries from election-bound states of Bihar, West Bengal and Kerala in key roles -- a clear indication that the changes are being made with an eye on coming assembly elections.
“Effort has been made to ensure there is representation from all regions of the country, from North-East to the Southern states. In keeping with the BJP’s concerted attempt to give young people more opportunities; the average age of this team is much lower than the previous teams,” said a party functionary who asked not to be named.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his congratulations to the team and said: “I am confident they will uphold the glorious tradition of our Party of serving the people of India selflessly and with dedication. May they work hard to empower the poor and marginalised.”
The new team includes MP Dushyant Kumar Gautam, a Dalit leader, D Purandeswari from Andhra Pradesh, CT Ravi, an MLA from Karnataka, Tarun Chugh from Punjab and Dilip Saikia an MP from Assam in the list of the national general secretaries. All are new entrants.
Kailash Vijayvargia, Bhupender Yadav and Arun Singh have been retained as national general secretaries.
Among those dropped, while Madhav was in charge of the North Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir, Rao was in charge of Karnataka and Rajasthan. Pandey and Jain were in charge of Maharashtra and Haryana.
“New faces have been given a chance; dropping of some names from the national general secretaries list does not imply a falling-out of favour,” said a second BJP functionary who asked not to be named.
The BJP has also announced the appointment of Rajesh Aggarwal, a former cabinet minister from Uttar Pradesh as the treasurer of the party; the post had been vacant since 2014 after the incumbent Piyush Goyal was appointed a minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet. Sudhir Gupta, an MP from Madhya Pradesh where several assembly seats are up for by-election, will be the joint treasurer.
There are several additions in the list of national vice-presidents, including West Bengal leader Mukul Roy. A former TMC leader, Roy’s appointment has scotched speculation that he will break away from the BJP in the election-bound state where friction within the party unit has become a cause for concern for the central leadership. Roy’s appointment however led to Rahul Sinha, who was dropped from the team to post a video to express his disappointment. A person familiar with the developments in the state said the changes have created friction in the state unit, as both Roy and Anupam Hazra who has been appointed national secretary are former TMC leaders.
Former Chattisgarh CM Raman Singh and former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje remain national vice presidents as does Baijayant Panda.
Nadda is shortly expected to announce the states that the party’s general secretaries will be in charge of. This will be followed by appointments of officer bearers at the state level.