BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda Saturday appointed new chiefs to the party’s Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Sikkim units. K Surendran has been appointed the president of the Kerala unit, Vishnu Dutt Sharma as president of Madhya Pradesh unit and Dal Bahadur Chauhan as that of the Sikkim unit of the party.
As national chief of the party, this is Nadda’s second batch of appointments. He had earlier re-appointed Chandrakant Patil as the chief of BJP’s Maharahstra unit.
In Kerala, K Surendran was serving as the general secretary of the party. His appointment as the state president comes three months after P S Sreedharan Pillai quit the post following his appointment as Mizoram Governor. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Surendran, who was the BJP’s face during Sabarimala protests, represented BJP from the Pathanamthitta constituency. Even as he succeeded in improving the party’s vote-share significantly from 16 per cent in 2014 to 29 per cent, he lost to sitting Congress MP Anto Antony. LDF candidate Veena George had come second and Surendran third.
In Madhya Pradesh, BJP MP from Khajuraho V D Sharma, 49, was earlier the general secretary of the state unit. Although he has the backing of RSS, his elevation came as a surprise to many in the BJP. “Change is the only constant. When I was appointed I replaced someone,” said Rakesh Singh, the Jabalpur MP whom Sharma replaced. He said he was not disappointed as for last 10 days he knew that change was imminent. Sharma had joined the ABVP in 1986 and went on to hold national positions in the students’ organisation. When the party announced his candidature for Khajuraho seat, there erupted fierce opposition within party.
Dal Bahadur Chauhan had served as the president of BJP’s Sikkim unit earlier too.
Nadda took over as the BJP National President on January 20, 2020. He was the BJP’s working president from June 2019 to January 2020.
(With inputs from Milind Ghatwai)
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