BJP GETS NEW OFFICE BEARERS

The BJP on Sunday made some organisational appointments including promoting Maharashtra leader Vinod Tawde to the post of national general secretary from his previous position of national secretary.

The party inducted Rituraj Sinha, son of Rajya Sabha MP R.K. Sinha, and Asha Lakra as national secretaries, and Shehzad Poonawalla and Bharti Ghosh were appointed party spokespersons.

Mr. Tawde’s elevation, it is said, is to fill the vacancy created by the exit of Bhupendra Yadav, who was inducted into the Union Cabinet as Environment and Labour Minister in July this year.

The promotion for Mr. Tawde is significant in the context of Maharashtra politics as he is not considered part of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s inner circle. When he was appointed national secretary a few months earlier, his position was not considered strong either in the State unit or with the high command in Delhi. But the promotion to general secretary indicates that he has made inroads in the Delhi power structure, with implications for Maharashtra BJP.

Ms. Lakra has been two-time Mayor of Ranchi and her appointment is also indicative of the fillip being given to representation to tribal leaders in the party. The BJP in the last couple of years lost power in the tribal dominated States of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The Union government recently declared November 15 (birth anniversary of tribal icon Birsa Munda) as Tribal Pride Day.

While these appointments will bolster the organizational structure, BJP president J.P. Nadda is yet to fill the four big vacancies in the party’s Parliamentary Board, the most important decision-making body in the party.

With the passing away of Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar and Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu’s election to that post, there are now significant vacancies in the parliamentary board. Party sources have remained mum over when these vacancies are to be filled. Front runners for these posts are Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman.

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