In a reshuffle within the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) organisational structure, former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and party spokesperson Baijayant Jay Panda were appointed as National Vice-Presidents of the party, while senior leaders like Ram Madhav, P Muralidhar Rao and Anil Jain were dropped as General Secretaries.
Madhav and Rao, the two General Secretaries considered close to the RSS, have been left out to be accommodated in the Union Cabinet or in the parliamentary board -- BJP's apex decision-making body, sources told Moneycontrol.
Along with Singh and Panda, former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and former CM of Jharkhand Raghubar Das have also been appointed as party's National Vice-Presidents.
The other new Vice Presidents include Mukul Roy, who switched from All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) in West Bengal, and AP Abdullakutty, the leader from Kerala who joined BJP from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), recently. Both West Bengal and Kerala are going to the polls next year.
The list of eight General Secretaries, a crucial organisation position in the party as they are the link between state and central leadership, has five new faces with Bhupender Yadav, Arun Singh and Kailash Vijayvargiya being retained. Dushyant Kumar Gautam, Purandareswari, CT Ravi, Tarun Chugh and Dilip Saikia are the new choices as General Secretaries.
The new faces were picked by JP Nadda, seven months after he took charge as BJP’s National President.
Firebrand Member of Parliament (MP) from Karnataka, Tejasvi Surya, has been made President of the party's youth wing replacing Poonam Mahajan
Anil Baluni, also an MP, has retained his post as media head while being elevated as the Chief Spokesperson of the BJP. The party has also expanded its list of spokespersons to 23.
"Congratulations and best wishes to the new team. I'm confident they'll uphold the glorious tradition of our Party of serving India's people selflessly and with dedication. May they work hard to empower the poor and marginalised," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Apart from Madhav, Rao and Jain, significant omissions include former Vice Presidents Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Om Mahur, Uma Bharti and Shyam Jaju.