File photo: Supporters of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) wave party flags and cut-outs of the lotus.(AFP)
File photo: Supporters of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) wave party flags and cut-outs of the lotus.(AFP)

UP BJP focuses on women power, balance in new team

The team, headed by an OBC chief, Swatantra Dev Singh Patel (56), has a relatively younger look, as the majority of the members are under 55.
Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By Manish Chandra Pandey
UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2020 01:09 PM IST

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced its new team on Saturday for Uttar Pradesh (UP) comprising 16 vice-presidents, seven general secretaries, 16 secretaries and two treasurers in view of the next assembly polls to be held in 2022.

The team is dominated by members from two numerically dominant caste groups in the state — other backward class (OBCs) (12) and Dalits (8)— who make up around half of the new 42-member UP BJP panel. There are also eight Brahmin members, Thakurs (7), Vaishyas (5) and Bhumihars (2).

The team, headed by an OBC chief, Swatantra Dev Singh Patel (56), has a relatively younger look, as the majority of the members are under 55.

Also read: Will fight Bihar polls under Nitish Kumar’s leadership - BJP chief JP Nadda

Half of the team comprises new faces but there are no big surprises, as some of those, who were left out of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government, have been accommodated.

Women’s representation has gone up because of 10 new faces, as compared to four in earlier UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey’s team.

Priyanka Singh Rawat, the former Member of Parliament (MP) from Barabanki, has been named general secretary of UP BJP. Poonam Bajaj, an advocate and social activist from Aligarh, is another woman panel member along with Anamika Choudhary, the former deputy mayor of Prayagraj.

Shakuntala Chauhan, the secretary of Gorakhpur region, has been included in the new team along with Meena Chaubey, a member of the women’s commission from Varanasi district.

Neelam Sonker, a Dalit from Azamgarh district, has also been inducted along with Sunita Dayal from Ghaziabad district. Meerut’s veteran leader Kanta Kardam is a part in the team along with former Agra mayor Anjula Singh Mahor.

“I think this could well be the biggest representation of women in any UP BJP panel. This is an encouraging development and shows the party’s focus on women,” said Darshana Singh, who heads the women’s panel in the BJP’s state unit.

There has been a rejig in the roles of Pankaj Singh and Vijay Bahadur Pathak, both general secretaries in the outgoing team. They have been named vice-presidents in the new panel.

Subhash Yaduvansh, who was heading the party’s youth wing, has been included in the panel.

While Chandramohan Singh, a spokesman in the outgoing team, has been elevated to the post of a secretary.

JPS Rathore, vice-president in Pandey’s team, has been made general secretary.

Laxman Acharya, a key party functionary, has been named vice-president, while Daya Shankar Singh, who was previously sacked for his remarks against Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, has been brought back as a vice-president.

Govind Narayan Shukla from Amethi district has been made general secretary. “It’s a perfectly balanced team,” said Manish Dixit, spokesperson, BJP’s UP unit.

CM Adityanath congratulated the new UP BJP office-bearers. “You all have an important role to play in helping realise the dream of new India. May you succeed in discharging your designated responsibilities in your new roles. My congratulations ...” he tweeted in Hindi.

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