New Delhi: Smriti Irani, actor-turned
politician of the `saas-bahu` TV serial fame, was today
appointed as head of BJP`s Women`s Wing while Himachal Pradesh
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal`s son and MP Anurag Thakur
will head the Youth Wing of the main opposition.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari also announced a new 20-member
Central Election Committee, a five-member Disciplinary
Committee and heads of Minority, Kisan, SC and ST Morchas of
34-year-old Irani, who has been a star campaigner of the
party, had contested against Congress leader Kapil Sibal from
the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency in 2004 and lost.
Said to be an eager and enthusiastic party worker, Irani has
pipped the likes of actor-politician Kiron Kher and Durg MP
Saroj Pande, among others to the post of Mahila Morcha head.
Anurag Thakur, 35, a former Ranji player and head of
Himachal Cricket Association, was in the race for Bhartiya
Janata Yuva Morcha since Gadkari took over as president. He
has won over the likes of Varun Gandhi and Vivek Thakur
(deputy Chief of the outgoing BJYM), among others, to the
Gadkari has retained the earlier Central Election
Committee and added several new members to give it "more
regional and social representation".
All General Secretaries, except Ravi Shankar Prasad, have
been accommodated in CEC. Ailing former Prime Minister Atal
Bihari Vajpayee is also a part of the team.
CEC members include Gadkari, L K Advani, M M Joshi, M
Venkaiah Naidu, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley,
Bal Apte, Ananth Kumar (Secretary, CEC), Thawar Chand Gehlot
and Ram Lal.
The new CEC members are Kalraj Mishra, Vasundhara Raje,
Gopinath Munde, Arjun Munda, Vijay Goel, Narendra Singh Tomar,
Dharmendra Pradhan and Shahnawaz Hussain.
As head of the Mahila Morcha, Irani will be an ex-officio
member of the CEC.
The names of various Morchas were also announced today.
Dushyant Gautam, a former general secretary of the
Scheduled Caste Morcha, will now head the body.
Scheduled Tribe Morcha of the BJP will be headed by Faggan
Singh Kulaste, who was in the news as one of the three
whistle-blowers in the cash-for-votes scam in 2008.
Tanvir Ahmad will be chief of BJP Minority Morcha while Om
Prakash Dhankad will head the Kisan Morcha. Dhankad was a
general secretary of the Kisan Morcha earlier and hails from
A Disciplinary Committee, to be headed by O P Kohli,
former chief of BJP`s Delhi state unit, has also been formed.
Its other members are Balramdas Tandon, Kesari Nath Tripathi
(former Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Assembly), O Rajgopal
(Kerala) and Mridula Sinha (Bihar).
Gadkari, who took over as BJP president on December 19
last, took nearly six months to finalise these names.