Amit Shah drops Varun, picks BSY for Team BJP

'New squad a mix of youth, experience'

Amit Shah drops Varun, picks BSY for Team BJP

BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday picked his young “A Team” but dropped Varun Gandhi and rewarded B S Yeddyurappa for the party’s good show in Karnataka by making him one of the 11 vice-presidents.

The BJP’s new office-bearers bear the stamp of RSS since, for the first time, at least six members of the Sangh Parivar have been drafted into the party. This is an indication that the RSS, which has given Modi a free hand to run the government, is not willing to lose its control over the party functioning, BJP leaders believe.

The direct imports from the Sangh Parivar are: Three joint general secretaries (organisation) V Satish, Shaudan Singh and Shiv Prakash; and three general secretaries Murlidhar Rao, Ram Madhav and Ram Lal.

The BJP leaders believe that Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi, 31, was dropped owing to the party and government’s conscious decision not to promote a family since his mother is already a cabinet minister.

Party sources, however, said he was  excluded as he was not on good terms with the present dispensation because of his independent style of functioning during the Lok Sabha poll campaign. Amit Shah was in charge of UP during the election.

J P Nadda, who continues to remain one of the eight general secretaries, described Shah’s selection as “a young team" where “60 per cent of the new office-bearers are under 50 years.”  Shah, 51, himself is the youngest party president.

Eleven vice-presidents, eight general secretaries, 14 secretaries, 10 party spokespersons, five of them new, form Shah’s core team. Uttar Pradesh, Modi’s adopted state, has bagged most number of slots.

Similarly, 71-year-old Yeddyurappa, who came back to the BJP before the parliamentary elections and is credited with reviving the party in Karnataka, was among the few senior leaders to have found a place as vice-president.

The other new  names are: Bandaru Dattatrey (Telangana), Parsottam Rupala (Gujarat), Prabhat Jha (Madhya Pradesh), Raghuwar Das (Jharkhand), Vinay Sahasrbuddhe (Maharastra), Renu Devi (Bihar) and Dinesh Sharma (Uttar Pradesh). The familiar faces who missed the bus are: C P Thakur, S S Ahluwalia and Balbir Punj. Former Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has managed to retain his vice-presidentship.

Shah did not give representation to the leaders from North-East despite Modi pushing for inclusion of the region in the mainstream. To send a message to the people of North-East,  Kiren Rijiju was made Minister of State (Home) but Tapir Gaon, who represented Arunachal Pradesh as general secretary, has been dropped.

Besides, Shahnawaj Husain, who lost  elections, will head the panel of spokespersons, getting help from new entrants.

Similarly, 71-year-old Yeddyurappa, who came back to the BJP before the parliamentary elections and is credited with reviving the party, was among senior leaders to have found a place as vice-president.

The other new  names are Bandaru Dattatrey (Telangana), Parsottam Rupala (Gujarat), Prabhat Jha (Madhya Pradesh), Raghuwar Das (Jharkhand) , Vinay Sahasrbuddhe (Maharastra), Renu Devi (Bihar) and Dinesh Sharma (Uttar Pradesh).

The familiar faces who missed the bus were – C P Thakur, S S Ahluwalia and Balbir Punj while former Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi managed to retain vice-presidentship. Shah did not give representation to the leaders from North-East despite Modi pushing for the inclusion of the region in the mainstream.

To send a message to the people of North East,  Kiren Rijiju was made Minister of State (Home) but Tapir Gaon, who represented Arunachal Pradesh as general secretary, has been dropped.

Besides, Shahnawaj Husain, who lost  elections, will head the panel of spokespersons, getting help from new entrants  Lalitha Kumaramangalam (Tamil Nadu), Dr Sambit Patra (Odisha), Anil Baluni (Uttarakhand) and G V L Narsimha Rao (Andhra Pradesh). Media cell incharge Shrikant Sharma has been elevated as secretary.

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