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Politics
Kerala left out of new team of BJP president Amit Shah
17-08-2014

NEW DELHI: After drawing a blank with no representation in the Narendra Modi cabinet, it was the same story for Kerala when no one from the state found a place in the new team of BJP president Amit Shah.

Kerala had a representation in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s organisational structure when former state president PK Krishna Das was a secretary in the outgoing team. He too was on Saturday left out by Shah. Shah’s new team comprises 52 members.

Asked why no one from Kerala was included in the BJP’s national team, the party’s state president V Muraleedharan said, “I am sorry I will not be the one to give an answer. This is decided by the national president and I am only the state president. The national team is selected by the central party leadership.”

Kerala is the only state where the BJP is yet to open its account, either in the state assembly or to the two houses of parliament. Shah is scheduled to visit Kerala later this month, where he will meet the state leaders.

While former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa has been named one of the 11 vice-presidents of the party along with Bandaru Dattatrey and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, in a shocking move BJP MP from Sultanpur, Varun Gandhi, has been dropped as a general secretary by the party.

A week after his formal appointment as party President, Shah announced his new team of party office-bearers that includes 11 Vice Presidents, eight General Secretaries and 14 Secretaries. The new team also includes 10 party Spokespersons, five of them are new.

Shah has retained General Secretaries JP Nadda, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Murlidhar Rao and Ramlal, who will continue to take care of the organisation affairs.

The four new General Secretaries are Ram Madhav, the RSS face who was sent to the party recently, outgoing BJP Mahila Morcha chief Saroj Pandey, Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan Bhupendra Yadav and Ram Shankar Katheriya. Former Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been retained as Vice President.

The other Vice Presidents are Bandaru Dattatreya and Satyapal Malik, both Lok Sabha members, Purushottam Rupala and Prabhat Jha, former state unit presidents and Raghuvar Das, a former deputy chief minister of Jharkhand.

The other Vice Presidents are Kiran Maheshwari (a former MP from Rajasthan), Vinay Sahasrabuddhe (one of the BJP’s think-tanks), Renu Devi (from Bihar) and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma.

The team has a mix of party workers from across the country but has major representation from poll-bound states of Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand. The team also includes five OBCs, six women and has representation from SCs and STs as well. 80 per cent of Shah’s team are below the age of 60.

Siddharth Nath Singh, who was in charge of West Bengal where the party registered some success in the Lok Sabha polls, has been retained as Secretaries. Former union minister Pramod Mahajan’s daughter Poonam Mahajan has also been made a Secretary. Other party Secretaries are Shyam Jaju, Anil Jain, H Raja, Ramesh Deka, Sudha Yadav, Ram Shekar Netam, Arun Singh, RP Singh, Jyoti Dhruve, Tarun Chugh and Rajneesh Kumar.