New Delhi: BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Friday
appointed party vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP Kalraj
Mishra as the head of the election campaign committee for
Uttar Pradesh where polls are due in May next year.
Mishra, who has earlier held the post of BJP UP chief, is
also a prominent Brahmin face of the party in the state.
Party sources said his appointment is also aimed at
sending a message to the Brahmins of Uttar Pradesh, who had
moved from BJP to BSP when Mayawati launched her Dalit-Brahmin
social engineering programme. This, along with a sizable chunk
of Muslim votes, had helped her win a majority in the 2007
BJP aims to win back the upper caste votes in the state.
Former party president Rajnath Singh has also become active in
the state after his tenure got over last year. He is trying to
woo the Thakurs to the party.
Mishra`s appointment was necessitated by the "lukewarm"
response from the party cadre in Uttar Pradesh to present
state unit chief Surya Pratap Shahi, sources said.
While the latter will continue in office, Mishra is
likely to run the show in Uttar Pradesh during the crucial
assembly elections in 2012.
Gadkari also appointed Rakesh Kumar as General Secretary
(Organisation) for Uttar Pradesh. Nagendra Nath has been
appointed to the same post in Bihar.
Four new national media co-convenors were also appointed
today by the BJP president.
K K Sharma, who was formerly on the editorial board of
BJP mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh, has been appointed a co-convenor
along with Hans Bhalla, Rajiv Issar and Shilp Kumar.