Thiruvananthapuram: Sangh Parivar ideologue R Balashankar has been made national convenor of BJP`s Intellectual Cell.
According to BJP sources, Balashankar, also a journalist, was nominated to the party post by BJP president Rajnath Singh on Saturday.
Hailing from Kerala, Balashankar had recently demitted the post of editor of RSS mouthpiece "Organiser".
During NDA rule, he had served as political advisor to the then HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi.
He is the first Keralite to head the intellectual cell of the party at the national level, tasked with a vital role in the campaign for the Lok Sabha polls.
"The prime task of the cell is to give ideological content and intellectual thrust to the political discourse. The cell would also brief party leadership on live topics to be commented upon and reacted to," Balashankar said.
He said the cell would also try to serve as a bridge between the party and intellectuals and cultural personalities who are not directly part of the movement, but at the same time having political and idealogical mooring towards it, he said.
As far as BJP is concerned, this had been a long-existing set-up. Those who had earlier headed it include Arun Jaitley and Balbir Punj, he said.
The party has also similar state-level panels and the national cell would be co-ordinating them.
Apart from Organiser, Balashankar has also worked with the Financial Express, The Week and Onlooker.