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New BJP chief proposes 3-step remedy for revival

As Om Prakash Kohli took over the reins of the Delhi BJP unit on Thursday morning at Pandit Pant Marg,he announced that “necessary and required” changes would be made in the BJP cadres ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Written by Sobhana K | New Delhi | January 9, 2009 2:51:28 am

As Om Prakash Kohli took over the reins of the Delhi BJP unit on Thursday morning at Pandit Pant Marg,he announced that “necessary and required” changes would be made in the BJP cadres ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Formerly a professor of Hindi at DU,Kohli has enlisted three steps to boost the BJP’s presence in the Capital. “Delhi’s changed demography should reflect in our organisation structure,” Kohli told Newsline.

Kohli claimed the Delhi BJP’s lower cadres have not been active enough. “On paper it all looks good,but the lower cadres are not involved in the decision-making process. I would want the mandals and local committees to be taken into confidence every time we want to take a step forward,” he said.

Kohli recounted his successful campaign of collecting Rs 1 crore during his previous stint as president. “We had planned to get donations worth Rs 1 crore for the party. However,none of the experienced fund managers were doing enough. At that time I motivated the middle and lower ranks,who through their small donations managed to raise Rs 1.17 crore,” Kohli added.

Incidentally,Kohli has never fought an Assembly or Lok Sabha election during his political career. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha twice. He was Delhi BJP’s president during their victorious run in 1993 for four years. A hard-core RSS man,he was elected as the Delhi BJP president in 1991 with support from RSS cadres. “Even in 1991 he had been transplanted directly from Jhandewalan to the president’s post. It is not different this time. His selection as the Delhi BJP president clearly indicates the fact that the leadership wants more involvement of the RSS,” said a senior BJP leader.

Many however,are viewing the 73-year-old Kohli’s selection as a proof of BJP’s continuing inability to introduce young blood into the party leadership and choosing from the flock of tried and tested leaders.

Kohli taught Hindi for 34 years in Delhi University and was also the DUTA president. His stint in politics began with the ABVP.

Interestingly Kohli,who has been selected to iron out differences among BJP workers and leaders,had himself walked out of a selection committee meeting along with MP Vijay Goel before the Delhi Assembly elections. He had even resigned later on from the selection committee. “My protest was not related to any particular person or individual. I was not satisfied with the entire selection process. I felt that outsiders should be given party tickets sparingly as it might cause frustration among the local workers,” Kohli said.

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