The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday announced changes to its list of office bearers, dropping senior leaders like Ram Madhav, P Muralidhar Rao and Anil Jain as general secretaries and appointing Karnataka MP Tejasvi Surya as the president of the party’s Yuva Morcha or youth wing in place of Poonam Mahajan.
The BJP also gave prominent posts to two former Trinamool Congress leaders Mukul Roy and Anupam Hazra. Roy was appointed as the party’s vice president, along with Annapurna Devi and Baijyant Jay Panda while Hazra was made national secretary. Maharashtra leaders Vinod Tawade and Pankaja Munde have also been appointed as secretaries. Former Union minister Gopinath Munde’s daughter Pankaja Munde has also been appointed the national secretary of the party.
The new appointments were announced by BJP President JP Nadda. This is the first major organisational change in the party to take place during his tenure. Unidentified party officials told PTI that the reshuffle was aimed at giving the party a pan-India look and bringing new faces on board.
The party increased the number of its spokespersons to 23. Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Nupur Sharma, Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Aparajita Sarangi, Hina Gawit, Guruprakash, M Kikon, Raju Bisht, and KK Sharma among those appointed as spokespersons. Anil Baluni was promoted to the post of chief spokesperson. Former Congress leader Tom Vadakkan, former ministers Shahnawaz Hussain and Rajiv Pratap Rudy have also been made spokespersons.
The BJP also appointed K Laxman as head of the Other Backward Classes Morcha, Lal Singh Arya as chief of Scheduled Castes Morcha and Jamal Siddiqui as head of the minority wing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the party’s new office bearers. “I am confident they will uphold the glorious tradition of our Party of serving the people of India selflessly and with dedication,” Modi tweeted. “May they work hard to empower the poor and marginalised.”
Madhav, who was dropped from the key party post, also congratulated the newly-appointed office bearers. “Grateful to d [the] party leadership for providing me d [the] opportunity to serve for one term as Gen Sec [secretary],” he said in a tweet.
Bengal leader Rahul Sinha expresses disappointment
Bengal BJP leader Rahul Sinha, who was removed as national secretary, on Saturday expressed his disappointment about the party’s decision. Sinha said that he had served the party for 40 years as a soldier.
“I have always been a soldier for the party since the beginning,” he said in a video message. “I have to leave my post because a Trinamool Congress leader is coming. Nothing can be more unfortunate than this.”
He added: “I will not talk about how the BJP has rewarded me at this time. I will decide my future course of action in 10 to 12 days.”