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With Yogi govt in place, decks cleared for UP BJP rejig with new faces in top roles

According to well-placed sources in the UP BJP, the party unit’s current general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal is likely to be replaced by a new face very soon.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow |
Updated: May 8, 2022 9:56:33 am
Sources said that the BJP’s ideological fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is looking to shift Bansal to the BJP organisation in either Odisha or Delhi and is in the process of finding his substitute in UP.

Nearly two months after it returned to power in Uttar Pradesh, the state BJP is going for a major overhaul of the party organisation that would involve changes in its two top positions including the posts of the president and the general secretary (organisation). With the stage set for its revamp, the state party unit has not planned any new organisational programmes for the coming days.

According to well-placed sources in the UP BJP, the party unit’s current general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal is likely to be replaced by a new face very soon. Sources said that the BJP’s ideological fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is looking to shift Bansal to the BJP organisation in either Odisha or Delhi and is in the process of finding his substitute in UP. Sources said Bansal has himself sought a shift from the UP party unit.

Significantly, there is no fixed term for the post of the general secretary (organisation) in the BJP, but the RSS is still going to replace its incumbent functionary despite the party’s remarkable victory in the recent UP Assembly polls.

Sources said that in the new few days the BJP would announce its new UP president following which the RSS would appoint the new general secretary (organisation).

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The role of the general secretary (organisation) or “sangathan mahamantri” is considered to be crucial in any BJP unit as they are RSS appointees in the party, who is mandated to function as the link between the RSS and the BJP. If the BJP is in power in any state, the party general secretary (organisation) is supposed to play the key role of a communicator between the RSS and the government while being a part of the party-government’s core group.

Referring to the frosty equation between the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government and Bansal, a BJP leader said, “The communication between the two sides has not been smooth from a long time. Hence, the change [in the party general secretary (organisation)’s position] is required.”

Bansal was brought to the UP unit to assist top BJP leader and current Union Home Minister Amit Shah ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Prior to that, he was a pracharak with the RSS’ students wing ABVP. Considered close to Shah, Bansal proved himself, with the saffron party winning 71 of the state’s total 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 and sweeping the Assembly elections in 2017. Subsequently, the BJP won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections defeating the grand alliance of the SP-BSP-RLD. It also retained power in the state by clinching the 2022 Assembly polls. In between, the party has also won a series of the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council elections in the state.

With the existing UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh having been inducted as the Jal Shakti minister in the Adityanath Cabinet, the party is going to fill up his organisational post with an eye on the upcoming civic polls and its voter outreach programmes. Sticking to the “one man, one post” policy, the party is looking for a new state president. Sources said that a few meetings in this regard have already been held in Delhi.

“Training camps organised in the district units are going to conclude soon. Likewise, micro-donation campaign is going to conclude soon. But party has not planned any new activity so far. Maybe because party needs a full-time state president and general secretary (oranisation) to monitor the organisational activities,” said a BJP leader. With the appointment of new faces for these top posts, a new UP BJP Executive will also be constituted.

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