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Jatia is MP BJP president

THE BHARATIYA Janata Party national leaders' search for the new State BJP president ended today with former Union minister Satyanarayan Jatia being nominated for the post. Jatia would replace Shivraj Singh Chouhan who became the Chief Minister on November 29 last.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 13:07 IST

THE BHARATIYA Janata Party national leaders' search for the new State BJP president ended today with former Union minister Satyanarayan Jatia being nominated for the post. Jatia would replace Shivraj Singh Chouhan who became the Chief Minister on November 29 last.

The name of Jatia as the new State BJP chief was announced at Delhi after the party president Rajnath Singh had a meeting with the party's general secretaries. The opposition from senior party leaders to possible nomination of a person of Chouhan's choice, that too a comparatively young face, seemed to have succeeded.

With Jatia's appointment, the Chief Minister's choice -- either of the two ministers Jayant Malaiya and Narendra Singh Tomar -- the ministers must have heaved a sigh of relief. They were unwilling to relinquish the ministerial post. State BJP organising general secretary Kaptan Singh Solanki, whose name also cropped up for the post, did not find favour with the RSS.

The biggest challenge Jatia faces on his appointment is to effectively counter the expelled BJP leader Uma Bharti's influence in the State in general and Bundelkhand and Mahakoshal regions in particular and ensure a cohesion among the leaders and rank and file in the squabbles-plagued party.

Born on February 4, 1946, Jatia has been elected Member of Lok Sabha seven times from Ujjain Lok Sabha constituency. He occupied the Cabinet Minister's berth during the NDA regime at the Centre and has held several organisational posts in Jana Sangh and the BJP during his political career so far.

The BJP sources said the party's national president Rajnath Singh decided upon Jatia's nomination last night. However, the formality of getting the general secretaries' nod on the appointment was completed today.

The sources being a Dalit also went in favour of Jatia. Making Chouhan -- an OBC -- the CM, the party wanted to fill the president's slot with a tribal leader Faggan Singh Kulaste. However, his alleged involvement in the 'bribe for question' scam forced the party to look out for

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 13:07 IST