The RSS has withdrawn its pracharak, Ramlal, who was general secretary (organisation) of the BJP for the last 12 years, the longest-serving leader in that post. He has been appointed sah-sampark pramukh (joint communication chief) of RSS.
Although it is still not clear who will replace Ramlal as general secretary in charge of BJP organisation, the names on top of those doing the rounds are that of Shivprakash and V Satish, both national joint secretaries of BJP.
The other two in the same post are B L Santosh and Saudan Singh. Of the four, Shivprakash is the RSS pracharak in the post.
Satish is considered close to both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah; he had worked with both in Gujarat.
General secretary (organisation) is a crucial post in BJP, and the leader helming it acts as a bridge between the party and RSS, its parent organisation. A full-time RSS ‘pracharak’ is appointed to the post, who works on deputation in the party until his repatriation.
Ramlal, 67, was appointed in this post in February 2007, replacing Sanjay Joshi.
As he exits the BJP organisation, Ramlal, active in the Sangh since the Emergency days, leaves a significant mark in the party’s history, holding a key post when it is at its peak. During his term, the BJP recorded stunning victories in two General Elections and several Assembly polls.
With his exit, the transition of the BJP’s organisation is complete under Modi and Shah. Sources said there could be changes in the states as well, with Sunil Bansal, RSS’s man in Uttar Pradesh, likely to be shifted out.
The decision was taken at the RSS’s ‘pranth pracharak baithak’, which concluded in Vijayawada on Saturday.
Sources said in his new role, Ramlal will be responsible for developing contact among “special category” – or elite – people.
Sources present at the annual meet told The Indian Express that sar-karyawah Bhaiyaji Joshi announced the decision and told delegates, “Ramlal worked with BJP for many years and earned fame for his work. We have spoken to the BJP and are now putting Ramlal-ji on other work. He will be sah-sampark pramukh.”
There were nearly 275 delegates at the meeting, most of them pracharaks of state-level and above, along with one or two each (deputed as pracharaks) from the Sangh’s other front organisations.
Another change announced at the Vijayawada meeting was that Rakesh Jain, who was general secretary (organisation) of BJP in UP four years ago and now works as sangathan mantra of Sewa Bharti, an RSS organisation working among the deprived sections, will now be all-India joint head of paryawaran vibagh (environment department). This is a new dimension of the Sangh’s work, which was cleared at the Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha in March.
Another pracharak, Gopal Arya, is already deputed to it, and sources in RSS said this new department will get office-bearers up to the district levels in the coming days considering challenges the country faces on the environment front.
Unlike his predecessors – K N Govindacharya and Sanjay Joshi – Ramlal leaves the post without any controversies. Govindacharya had to go on “leave” unceremoniously following his comments against Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while Joshi was removed after a controversial CD emerged. Madhya Pradesh Police later found it fake.
(With Liz Mathew)