New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday announce the party`s new team of office bearers on Tuesday, thereby ending a three-month long suspense.
As expected, Gadkari`s new team has a blend of youth and experience.
The new A-team of the BJP would have 11 vice-presidents, 10 general secretaries and 15 secretaries.
The list of new vice-presidents includes the names of senior party leaders like Shanta Kumar, Kalraj Mishra, Vinay Katiyar, Bhagatsingh Koshiyari, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Karuna Shukla, Najma Heptullah, Hema Malini, Bijoya Chakravarti, Purushottam Rupala and Kiran Ghai
The new general secretaries are Ravishankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan, Narendrasingh Tomar, Ramlal, Anant Kumar, Thavarchand Gehlot, Jagat Prakash Nadda, Arjun Munda, Vijay Goel and Vasundhara Raje Scindia.
Anant Kumar would be also hold the post of the secretary of the Parliamentary board – the highest decision making body of the body.
There appears to be a conscious decision to infuse new blood for the post of secretary. The new secretaries are: Varun Gandhi, Santosh Gangwar, Smriti Irani, Saroj Pandey, Kiran Maheshwari, Tapir Gao, Navjot Singh Siddhu, Ashok Pradhan, Muralidhar Rao, Dr. Kirit Somaiyya, Dr. Laxman, Captain Abhimanyu, Arati Mehra, Bhupendra Yadav and Vani Tripathi.
V Satish and Saudan Singh have been appointed the joint general secretary of the party.
The party has also decided to appoint more spokespersons. Shahnawaz Hussain, Prakash Javdekar, Tarun Vijay, Nirmala Sitaram, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Ramnath Kovil would now be the party`s face in the media.
Party old-timer Piyush Goyal has been appointed treasurer.
The list does a few surprises though. The inclusion of former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, despite being not in the good books of former BJP president Rajnath Singh, can be seen as the heralding of a new era in the party; that of Nitin Gadkari and his choices..
Varun Gandhi’s elevation as secretary would also raise some eyebrows as there have been reports that many senior party functionaries were opposed to the idea of giving him any party post.
However, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) reportedly backed Varun Gandhi as it sees him as a counter to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
However, as expected, former BJP stalwarts Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha’s names are missing from the list of new appointees.
Powerful leaders like Balbir Punj and Prabhat Jha also could not find a berth this time.
However, Gadkari appears to have taken a conscious decision to ensure 33 percent women representation in the party - among the 40 office bearers, 13 are women.
Commenting on the new team BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "The list is such that people from Andaman to Jammu and Kashmir, from Gujarat to Assam are being represented. It is a balanced list with women, Dalits, tribes, all included."