With the party’s election preparations in full steam, the BJP on Friday revamped its structure, giving key states to experienced hands, including two former chief ministers, in order to fine-tune the organisation. In the rejig, former Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani will take care of BJP’s organisational work and election preparations in Punjab and Chandigarh; while Biplab Deb, who was removed from the Tripura CM’s post in May this year, will take care of the party’s Haryana affairs.
Maharashtra veteran Vinod Tawde, who was elevated as general secretary last November, has been given the charge of Bihar, where the party recently lost power after its key ally Nitish Kumar left the NDA and joined hands with the RJD to continue in power. Tawde was in-charge of Haryana.
Party veteran Om Mathur, who in the past was in-charge of several important states, including Uttar Pradesh, will now be in-charge of poll-bound Chhattisgarh, a state where the party is desperately looking to return to power. Mathur, who is considered to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi replaced D Purandareswari. Mathur, who was recently inducted into the Central Election Committee of the BJP, has a tough task at hand as the state unit is struggling with internal conflicts and absence of a strong leadership.
Purandhareswari will continue to be in-charge of Odisha. Former Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has been given the charge of Kerala, another tough state for the BJP in terms of its electoral performance and organisational strength.
Another gainer in the organisation reshuffle is party’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra who has been appointed as the coordinator for northeastern states. Party veteran and former Uttar Pradesh unit president Laxmikant Bajpayi, who was recently appointed as the chief whip of the party in the Rajya Sabha, will be the in-charge of Jharkhand.
Among those who have been dropped from this list of 15 states or regions are Kailash Vijayvargiya and CP Radhakrishnan. Vijayvargiya who was the general secretary in-charge of West Bengal since 2015 has now been replaced by former Bihar minister Mangal Pandey. Radhakrishnan, a former Lok Sabha MP, was in-charge of Kerala.
Sunil Bansal, powerful general secretary of the BJP will continue to oversee the party’s organisationl works in West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana.
“With this rejig, the top leadership has conveyed it clearly that it will use every experienced hand to utilise their strengths to the maximum. The BJP is clear that it does not want to leave any stone unturned in its preparations for the elections,” said a senior party leader.
BJP’s Lok Sabha MP Vinod Sonkar has been moved from Tripura to Daman, Diu, Dadra Nagar Haveli, while Lakshwadeep charge has been given to Radha Mohan Agarwal, besides assisting Javadekar in Kerala.
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Former Union Minister and Lok Sabha MP Mahesh Sharma will replace Sonkar in Tripura. While senior BJP leader Arun Singh remains as the general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan, which goes to poll next year, senior party leader P Murlidhar Rao will continue to be the in-charge of Madhya Pradesh, where the party has been working on strengthening the organisation in order to regain its lost ground among the weaker sections of society. He will be assisted by both Pankaja Munde and Ram Shankar Katheria, former chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes. Former Mahila Morcha president Vijay Rahatkar will assist Arun Singh in Rajasthan while Narinder Singh Raina will be co-in-charge for Punjab and MLA Nitin Nabin will assist Om Mathur in Chhattisgarh.
Arvind Menon, who was co-in-charge of West Bengal has been moved to Telangana to assist general secretary Tarun Chugh. Amit Malaviya and Asha Lakra will be co-in-charges for West Bengal. Lok Sabha MP Harish Dwivedi, who was in-charge of Jharkhand, will now be the co-in-charge of Bihar.