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BJP, RSS lock horns over choice of members for key positions

BJP, RSS lock horns over choice of members for key positions
Despite Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh declaring the list for new office-bearers of the party a month ago, internal party differences has stopped him from announcing the list of general secretaries in-charge of the states.

The BJP president had said that by end of April, the general secretaries in-charge will be declared by the party. However, sources say that differences have emerged between general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal, joint secretary (organisation) Saudan Singh and the BJP leadership over the list of candidates.

Sources say that one of the names over whom the two Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) nominees in the BJP did not see eye-to-eye was that of BJP general secretary Amit Shah. It is learnt that Ram Lal has been in favour of making Amit Shah, the general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, as there has been speculation that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, might contest from the state. Leaders who have been appraised of the situation said that Saudan Singh totally rejected the candidature of Amit Shah and he in fact met the party president to express his displeasure over Shah’s name.

An RSS leader said that the bone of contention is about who should be made the general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh with names of Prabhat Jha,  JP Nadda and Ananth Kumar doing the rounds. Sources said that even BJP president Rajnath Singh is not in favour of Amit Shah, as he does not want an in-charge who could bypass him and that too in his home state.  Sources said that Dharmendra Pradhan would likely to be replaced by P Muralidhar Rao in Karnataka, Kalraj Mishra to get the  charge of Jharkhand, Thawar Chand Gehlot will take care of Bihar and Nitin Gadkari’s  name is almost certain for Rajasthan.

Apart from the delay in declaring the names of in-charges of states, the differences within the party has also led to a delay in announcing the members of the party’s frontal organisations, like the youth wing, women wing, the SC/ST wing and minority wing of the party. Sources say that problems in the relations between the two RSS nominees began during the time when the BJP president was  electing his new team. A party leader said that Ram Lal had overruled all the names suggested by Saudan Singh. The joint secretary (organisation) had suggested the name of Saroj Pandey to be named as the general secretary of the party, which was rejected by  Ram Lal and Pandey later had to settle as the president of women’s wing of the party. Also, Ram Lal had overlooked the Saudan Singh’s recommendation of including Chhatisgarh tourism minister Brijmohan Agarwal  in the national executive.
Samarth Saran

Samarth Saran

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