Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 30
BJP president JP Nadda’s new team of office-bearers reflects the current position of the saffron party in the national polity.
While the selections, made on Saturday, showed the BJP’s focus areas (West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and some outhern states), it was generally perceived as a team designed to promote and augment the policies and programmes of the government headed by its biggest star Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources say some more names could be added after the Bihar elections and a possible reshuffle of the Cabinet by the Prime Minister. However, the fact remains that apart from some leaders like Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav (known for his organisational skills and understanding of government matters) and senior Madhya Pradesh leader Kailash Vijayvarghia (with established credentials of ground support), a majority of the new general secretaries are those who have neither won elections nor have any mass appeal of their own.
That is besides four-time Karnataka legislator CT Ravi and Assam MP Dilip Saikia.
Unlike powerful general secretaries of yore, late Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Pramod Mahahan, they are generally ones seen as names in the vast organisational network of the party, say observers. “But that was the time the BJP was not in power and needed men and women with a mind and standing of their own. Now with PM Modi as the face and Amit Shah its chief strategist, the party just needs people to implement,” they add.
While the post of vice-president is generally considered ceremonial (though the party gave election responsibilities to some holding the position in the outgoing team), it is the general secretaries who have real power, serving as a link between states and the central leadership.
Nadda has retained three general secretaries from the team of former president and Home Minister Amit Amit Shah–Yadav, Vijayvardhia and Arun Singh. Political observers say the man to watch out here (apart from young and fiery advocate of Hindutva ‘plank’ Tejasvi Surya who is now president of the youth wing) is Yadav who enjoys the confidence of Shah and is also believed to be among the frontrunners for a post in the powerful parliamentary board, which has vacancies after the passing away of Ananth Kumar, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley and the election of veteran leader M Venkaiah Naidu to the post of the Vice-President of the country.
Some other posts are still vacant in the team, including of a general secretary. As per the party constitution, one-third functionaries have to be women. Apart from the president, the team is supposed to have 39 functionaries (13 vice-presidents, 10 general secretaries, 15 secretaries and a treasurer). Nadda’s team has 12 vice-presidents, eight general secretaries, one general secretary (organisation) and 13 secretaries. The post of president of Mahila Morcha is also vacant. Besides, members of the national executive also have to be announced.