Amit Shah reconstitutes 37-member team; Yeddyurappa, Ram Madhav find place
NEW DELHI: Bhartiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Saturday reconstituted his 37-member team of the party's national office-bearers, retaining 14 from the outgoing team of predecessor Rajnath Singh for continuity.
Prominent among those dropped are Varun Gandhi as a general secretary and C P Thakur (Bihar), Laxmikant Chawla (Punjab) and Balbir Punj (Delhi) as the vice-presidents, the first two for being overage at 70 plus and former journalist Punj because of his perceived proximity to patriarch Lal Krishna Advani.
The BJP sources said there should be no controversy over no post given to Varun Gandhi as it is part of the party's policy not to allow more than one post to a family. His mother is already a full-fledged Cabinet minister, they said, pointing out that this factor had also weighed in PM Modi refusing Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje's pressure to have her MP son Dushyant Singh in his ministry.
There are six women in the team and another two in the list of 10 spokesmen that was also announced. Heads of five morchas were also announced, retaining four of them and making Mrs Vijaya Rahatkar, former mayor of Aurangabad (Maharashtra) as Mahila Morcha chief in place of Saroj Pande who has been promoted as one of the general secretaries.
NO TREASURER: Shah has kept open five vacancies to be filled up later, two each as vice-presidents and general secretaries and one secretary. Nor did he appoint the treasurer to replace Mumbai’s Piyush Goyal who is now union minister for power and coal.
Those retained as vice-presidents are Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Satyapal Malik (both UP), Prabhat Jha (MP) and Mrs Kiran Maheshwari (Rajasthan) whole Jagatprakash Nadda, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Murlidhar Rao and Ramlal (Organisation) continue as the general secretaries. Those retained as secretaries are Poonam Mahajan (MP and daughter of later Pramo Mahajan), Shyam Jaju, Anil Jain, and Mrs Sudha Yadav.
YEDDY VP: Former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, former union minister Bandaru Dattatrey, former Gujarat BJP president Purushottam Rupala, Vinay Sahastrbuddhe running Sangh's training centre in Mumbai and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma are prominent among the 11 vice-presidents.
Ram Madhav, an RSS full-timer loaned to the BJP two months ago, has been designated as the general secretary while Bhupendra Yadav (Rajasthan) has been promoted from the post of secretary to the national general secretary, reportedly for his immense contribution in the party sweeping all seats in the state. Former Mahila Morcha chief Saroj Pande has been also made one of the eight general secretaries.
General Secretary (Organisation) Ramlal, who had so far two RSS full-timers V Satish and Soudan Singh as joint general secretaries (organisation) will have two more from RSS to assist him: Shiv Prakash, who acted in tandem with Amit Shah in Uttar Pradesh, and B L Santosh from Karnataka.
SPOKESPERSONS: While M J Akbar, Shahnawaz Hussain, Meenakshi Lekhi, Sudhanshu Trivedi, and Vijay Sonkar Shastri have been retained as spokespersons, the new members of the spokespersons' team of 10 are Nalin Kohli, Dr Sambit Patra, Anil Baluni, psephologist GVL Narasimha Rao and Mrs Lalitha Kumarmangalam (Tamil Nadu), a former national secretary and daughter of late Congress union minister Mohan Kumarmangalam.
Anurag Thakur, MP and son of a former Himachal Pradesh chief minister, has been retained as head of Yuva Morcha, while Dushyant Kumar Gautam and Faggan Sinh Kulaste continue as heads of the SC and ST morchas respectively and Abdul Rashid Ansari (Delhi) as Minority Morcha chief. Engineer Arun Jain has been retained as the headquarters secretary.