BJP Prez Amit Shah unveils new team: Varun Gandhi out, Yeddyurappa in
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah announced a new team of 11 vice-presidents and eight general secretaries to lead the party into the coming Assembly elections.
Assembly elections are to be held later this year in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and, possibly, in Delhi too.
Shah’s new team includes as vice-presidents Bandaru Dattatreya, former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, Satpal Malik, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, P Ruppala, Prabhat Jha, Raghuvar Das, Kiran Maheswari, Renu Devi and Dinesh Sharma.
The new general secretaries are J P Nadda, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Muralidhar Rao, former RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav, Saroj Pandey, Bhupendra Yadav, Ram Shankar Kateria and Ram Lal.
Notably, Varun Gandhi has been dropped from the top leadership.Also notably, there is no representative from Jammu and Kashmir, which goes to polls soon.
There will be some eyeballs raised, no doubt, on the inclusion of Yeddyurappa who was under a cloud facing allegations of corruption. Also, while names such as Naqvi and Rudy were being discussed for a Cabinet expansion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their inclusion in the organisational leadership is a sign of where the party wants to invest its senior leaders not already in the Cabinet.
From the names, it appeared that the party is focused on Assembly polls, the bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, but also simultaneously on party-building in the southern states.
Speaking to reporters after the announcement which came in Jind, where Shah is addressing a major rally today, JP Nadda said the new leadership team was a good mix of the young and the experienced. “The new ofifce-bearers are all people who have worked for the party at the state level and have gained experience in organisation-building,” Nadda said. He added that 60 percent of the new team is aged below 50 years.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, who remains spokesperson, said it was a team with several young faces. “We will work with Amitbhai. This is a good, balanced team. When a team is formed, there are limited spots for several players. Those not included are not inadequate in any way, but in a balanced team you need a fast bowler, opener, all rounder, and spinner… There couldn’t have been a better team.”
The party’s spokespersons will include Shahnawaz Hussain, Sudhanshu Trivedi, Meenakshi Lekhi, Sambit Patra, M.J. Akbar, Nalin Kohli, B S Shastri, GVLN Rao, Anil Baluni and L Kumarmangalam.
Anurag Thakur will continue as BJYM chief while the BJP Mahila Morcha chief will be Vijaya Rahatkar. Abdul Rashid Ansari will be BJP’s Minority Morcha chief.