New Delhi: After a six-year hiatus, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reinducted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi into the party`s Parliamentary Board.
Modi`s selection is seen as a major boost to his prime ministerial ambitions.
Also, the 62-year-old Modi is the only Chief Minister included in the new 76-member team of office bearers. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has been ignored in the team.
Modi comes back to the party`s top body after a gap of six years after having been removed from the Board by Singh during his previous tenure as party president, ending speculation over the Chief Minister`s future role at the national level in BJP.
Modi, who has been projected by a section within BJP as the party`s Prime Ministerial candidate, has also been included in BJP`s Central Election Committee, headed by Singh.
Singh`s new team has 12 vice presidents, 10 general secretaries, 15 secretaries and seven spokespersons, besides a 12-member Central Parliamentary Board, a 19-member Central Election Committee and a five-member Central Disciplinary Committee.
BJP president Rajnath Singh, who met the party`s patriarch LK Advani this morning ahead of the major announcement, named former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah, Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi, Ram Lal, JP Nadda, Ananth Kumar, Dharmendra Pradhan, Muralidhar Rao, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Thawarchand Gehlot, Tapir Gao as general secretaries of the party.
Rajnath Singh (president), Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, M Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitely, Narendra Modi, Ananth Kumar, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Ram Lal now comprise BJP Central Parliamentary Board.
Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat Smriti Irani, ex-Karnataka CM Sadananda Gowda, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Prabhat Jha, Balbir Punj, Uma Bharti, Kiran Maheshwari, Dr CP Thakur, Jual Urao, SS Ahluwalia, Satpal Malik, Bijyo Chakravarti and Punjab`s former health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla have been named BJP vice presidents.
Durg MP Saroj Pandey has been made the new president of BJP Mahila Morcha, while Anurag Thakur continues as Yuva Morcha president in the new team.
Prakash Javadekar, Shahnawaz Hussain, Nirmala Sitaraman, Vijay Sonkar Shashtri, Dr Sudhanshu Trivedi, Meenakshi Lekhi and Captain Abhimanyu have been made the party`s spokespersons.
Party`s senior leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha has not found a place in Singh`s team.
Among those who have been dropped include Najma Heptulla, Hema Malini and Shanta Kumar as vice presidents and Vasundhara Raje as general secretary.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is BJP`s deputy leader in Rajya
Sabha, has been dropped as the chief spokesperson of the party.
Poonam Mahajan, the daughter of late party leader Pramod Mahajan, has found a place in Singh`s team and has been made a secretary. The new BJP team, which has adequate representation of women, includes Luise Marandi from Jharkhand as secretary.
V Satish and Soudan Singh will be the new joint general secretaries (Organisation), while Shyam Jaju, Bhupendra Yadav, Krishan Das, Anil Jain, Vinod Pandey, Trivendra Rawat, Rameshwar Chaurasiya, Aaarti Mehra, Renu Kushwaha, Sudha Yadav, Sudha Malaiya, Tamil Isai and Vani Tripathi are secretaries.
Sanjay Paswan has been made president of the BJP SC Morcha and Faggan Singh Kulaste president of the ST Morcha, Abdul Rashid will head the Minority Morcha and Om Prakash Dhankar will head the party`s Kisan Morcha.
Rajya Sabha MP Piyush Goyal has been retained as Treasurer and OP Kohli as Headquarter Incharge, while former MP Ramkripal Sinha will be Office Secretary of Parliamentary Party and Shanmuknathan as joint office secretary of the Parliamentary Party.
The party`s Central Disciplinary Committee has Radha Mohan Singh as president, Jagdish Mukhi as secretary and L Ganesahn, Hari Babu and Shyam Nandan Singh as its members.
"After discussion with senior party leaders, this team has been announced. I think it is a perfect and balanced team," BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters.
He said the new team would help the BJP win the next Lok Sabha polls.
Notably, the parliamentary board is the highest decision-making body of the BJP and Modi’s elevation is being viewed as a step to bring him to the forefront keeping in view the upcoming 2014 General Elections.
"The rejig was done by the new party president keeping in mind the General Elections of 2014. The party will announce the prime ministerial candidate when the time comes," BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said.
On stopping short of announcing a prime ministerial candidate, BJP leader Nirmala Sitaraman said: "All groups and regions have been well represented in the new team. I don`t think too much need to be read into (the holding back of an announcement of the prime minister candidate)."
"All sections have been adequately represented, according to their capacity, and there is young blood too in the team," she said.
Welcoming Modi`s elevation, BJP leader Giriraj Singh said: "It is good news and will infuse more power and strength into the party."
On tainted people like Shah being inducted into key positions, BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said: "People don`t come to the BJP from one family; they are inducted on merit. Unless a court verdict comes or the Supreme Court says something, we cannot prohibit him from occupying a position in the party."
(With IANS inputs)