The newly-formed team of BJP’s Delhi unit has left several state leaders disappointed after they failed to find a spot in the set-up. These include party spokespersons Harish Khurana and Tajinder Bagga, it is learnt, with the latter ostensibly using his social media profile to register his protest.
The Delhi BJP Thursday appointed a new set of office-bearers, which include three general secretaries — Kuljeet Chahal, Dinesh Pratap Singh and Harsh Malhotra — eight vice-presidents, eight secretaries and 10 spokespersons.
Sources in the party said Khurana, son of former Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana, threatened to resign from the post of spokesperson, which he has held for over ten years, as he has been asking for a post as office-bearer. He had also sought a ticket in the assembly election but was denied it.
Khurana removed ‘spokesperson’ from his Twitter bio and changed it to karyakarta in the morning. By evening, though, ‘spokesperson’ was back in his bio, with sources saying this was after senior leaders intervened.
Bagga, meanwhile, deactivated his usually busy Twitter profile. A senior leader said Bagga had been seeking the post of youth wing president or office-bearer. “He deactivated his profile because detractors often use the argument that he is just a social media star. He wanted a position in the frontal organisation instead of being a spokesperson, where one is limited to media activities rather than building a support base through organisational activities,” the leader said.
Former vice-president Shazia Ilmi, the lone Muslim face among state office-bearers, is also learnt to be unhappy over being dropped from the team. Ilmi, however, said she is not disappointed with the restructuring and would continue to work in whatever responsibility the party gives her.
The Delhi BJP has this time appointed Yasir Gilani as spokesperson, but there is no Muslim among its office-bearers. Haroon has, meanwhile, been picked as president of the Alpsankhyak Morcha, a frontal organisation of the party.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said he has not received any resignations. “This is a new team with a lot of young people, and those who are not part of the team would also be given various responsibilities in the coming days,” he said.
Senior party leaders said some MPs are also unhappy over the fact that the new team has a stamp of general secretary (organisation) Siddharthan, while their choices have been ignored. Siddharthan, however, said whatever happens in the BJP is with the permission of the president, and he has no role to play in the restructuring.
Against the backdrop of a massive defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections earlier this year, the BJP had replaced state president Manoj Tiwari with Adesh Gupta around four months ago.
Party leaders said most people considered close to Tiwari, who were part of the old team, including media department incharges Pratyush Kant, Neelkant Bakshi and Purvanchal morcha head Manish Singh, were also not included in the new team.
Bakshi, however, said, “Same people cannot be part of the team again and again. Then how will new leadership grow? It is a good, balanced team.”
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