New Delhi: New BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari is
planning to induct several fresh faces which is expected to
bring forth a younger leadership in the party.
A clear indication to this effect has been given by
senior leader L K Advani, whom Gadkari refers to as his guide
and philosopher, during the recent National Council at Indore
when he said the new President belongs to the third generation
of the party and his team is likely to be even younger.
The buzzword at Indore was teamwork, cohesion,
discipline and performance, which have all been lacking in the
right-wing party for the past few months.
The decision to usher in a young team will also
counter the Rahul Gandhi-effect which has reportedly led to
the new generation finding Congress more attractive than BJP.
However, there may be some hiccups before Gadkari
gets his new team in place.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who has
been offered the post of national general secretary, has
reportedly expressed her displeasure and argued that she wants
to stay in her state as Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.
"She told the leadership that after losing the last
assembly elections in December 2008, she does not want to run
away to the Centre as that may affect her credibility and hold
over the state.
"She feels in Delhi she will just be one of the
several senior leaders," a senior leader said.
Her emissaries held a meeting with Gadkari`s team in
Indore during the three-day conclave (from which she kept away
citing some flimsy excuses) to get across her point of view.
BJP Central leadership will have to take a call on the
issue at the earliest as the Assembly session begins in
Rajasthan and Raje`s resignation from post of Leader of
Opposition has still not been submitted to the Speaker.
Moreover, Gadkari is set to announce his team by
The number of women in Gadkari`s team will also be
higher than any of his predecessors as BJP has amended its
constitution to increase the number of officer-bearers after
giving 33 per cent reservation to women in party cadre posts.
Shoba Karandlaje, close associate of Karnataka Chief
Minister B S Yeddyurappa and a former minister in his cabinet
who had to quit under pressure from Reddy brothers, is likely
to hold the post of a general secretary or a secretary.
Varun Gandhi is also likely to figure in the new team
though he is not likely to get a key post due to his
controversial anti-minority image and the party`s new pitch to
woo the Muslims.
Other names to be included in Gadkari`s team include
Shahnawaz Hussain, Manohar Parikkar, B C Khanduri, Arjun
Munda, Kiran Maheshwari, Navjot Singh Siddhu and Amit Thakker.
Young MP and son of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister
Prem Kumar Dhumal, Anurag Thakur, is likely to become the new
head of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).
Wherever possible, BJP has inducted young leaders as
state unit chiefs.