New Delhi: BJP on Saturday effected a change in
the command structure of its affairs in Karnataka, where the
party has been hit by land scams and dissidence, replacing
in-charge Shanta Kumar and appointing general secretary
Dharmendra Pradhan in his place.’
BJP sources said Shanta Kumar, who was shifted to
Punjab, had not taken any active interest in party affairs
in Karnataka since he was appointed state in-charge by BJP
President Nitin Gadkari earlier this year.
At the peak of the turmoil in the state when Chief
Minister B S Yeddyurappa was accused of nepotism and
favouritism in land allotment to his sons and daughter, Kumar
was away in the US to attend a UN conference.
Party sources said since Shanta Kumar, a former chief
minister of Himachal Pradesh, was not interested in a southern
state, he has been moved to Punjab. Yashwant Sinha, who was
in-charge of Punjab earlier, had quit his post after Arjun
Munda pipped him to the post and became Chief Minister of
Dharmendra Pradhan, who is one of the young faces of
BJP, is expected to be more active than his predecessors in
Karnataka. Till now, he was co-incharge of Bihar which is
under the charge of Ananth Kumar.
With a spectacular victory of JD(U)-BJP combine in the
just-concluded elections in the state, the party decided
to elevate Pradhan.
Along with these changes, the Leader of the Opposition
in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has been asked by Gadkari to
give special attention to Karnataka party affairs. He had
recently done much of the trouble-shooting with Yeddyurappa on
behalf of the central leadership during the recent crisis.