Vinod Tawde appointed as BJP general secretary

BJP leader Vinod Tawde made the national general secretary of the party

Sidelined by Devendra Fadnavis during his chief ministership and denied a ticket for the 2019 Assembly elections, Vinod Tawde’s political fortunes saw an uptick on Sunday with his elevation as general secretary of the BJP. He fills a vacancy created by Bhupendra Yadav’s appointment as a Cabinet minister.

The decision to promote him to general secretary from his previous post of national secretary was announced by BJP president J P Nadda.

In the Maharashtra unit of the party, his elevation is being read as a message by the party’s central leadership to Fadnavis that “nothing is permanent” in politics.

“It is a big development that the central leadership has awarded Tawde with a major national role. Also a comment on Fadnavis, who had sidelined and humiliated him in Maharashtra,” said a party insider.

Tawde’s chief ministerial ambitions in 2014 were upended by Fadnavis, who apparently never stopped seeing him as a rival after that. His Cabinet tenure was dogged by controversy and Fadnavis trimmed and changed his portfolios constantly. In 2019, Tawde was denied an Assembly ticket, and the nomination for his Borivali constituency was given to Sunil Rane.

A senior BJP functionary  told  “In politics nothing is permanent. Nobody can take central leadership for granted.”

Hailing from the Maratha community and mentored by the late Gopinath Munde and Pramod Mahajan, Tawde exercised caution while commenting on his new role. Expressing gratitude to the party and leaders for reposing faith in him, he said, “I will do my best in every given assignment.”

He added, “It is the fruit of displaying patience. I am confident that this important message will reach our party workers.”

A close aide of Tawde said, “Appointment of national general secretary is a huge reward and carries greater responsibility.”

Opposition leader Fadnavis tweeted. “Many congratulations Vinod Tawde ji on being appointed as National General Secretary of BJP India.”

Although the 58-year-old Tawde, who was with the RSS and ABVP in his student days, is not in-charge of Maharashtra, he may get to have a say in matters relating to the state, particularly as he enjoys a better rapport with leaders across Maharashtra’s parties including NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena than many others in the state unit of the BJP, said a BJP source.

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