The party is expected to bring in a new state unit chief in Rajasthan where Ashok Parnami resigned from the top post.
New Delhi: Alarmed by recent setbacks in bypolls ahead of Assembly elections in states under BJP rule, the party high command has initiated steps for appointment of new state unit chiefs in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where elections are scheduled later this year.
The BJP appointed Rakesh Singh, 55, as the new party president in Madhya Pradesh, replacing Nand Kumar Chauhan. The party also is expected to bring in a new state unit chief in Rajasthan where Ashok Parnami resigned from the top post. BJP’s Andhra Pradesh unit chief K. Hari Babu also resigned on Wednesday.
Mr Singh, the newly-appointed Madhya Prade-sh unit chief, belongs to the backward caste and is also the party’s chief whip in Lok Sabha. The three-term MP representing Jabalpur in the Lok Sabha is seen as a dynamic leader with vast organisational experience and the party hopes that he will be able to use its strong organisation to ward off damage due to any perceived anti-incumbency in the state where the BJP has been in power for 15 years.
According to sources in Bhopal, Mr Singh’s name was finalised at the BJP’s state core group meeting last night. The meeting was also attended by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and BJP organisational secretary Ram Lal.
Speculation is rife that the party could also change its Chhattisgarh unit chief Dharamlal Kaushik. Assembly elections are scheduled by the end of this year in Madhya Pradesh, Rajast-han and Chattisgarh. The polls in these three states are being treated by all parties as a semi-final before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
A party statement said that Mr Chauhan, Mr Parmani and Mr Babu have been made members of its national executive.
Sources said Union rural development minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was in contention for the post of the party president in Madhya Pradesh, will be its campaign committee chief in the state.
With feedback suggesting trouble for the BJP in all coming elections, the party brass could go on in for further revamp in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
In Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the BJP has been facing major challenges, including farmer and dalit agitations.
In Andhra Pradesh, the BJP’s focus is to strengthen its organisation after ruling the TDP walked out of the NDA over the issue of special category status for the state. The southern state will go to polls next year along with the Lok Sabha elections.
After stepping down, Mr Pranami said, “I will continue to work in accordance with the responsibilities given to me as a disciplined party worker.”
When asked if his decision was a fallout of the BJP’s defeat in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls in Alwar and Ajmer, Mr Parnami, who is an MLA from Jaipur’s Adarsh Nagar constituency, said, “Any defeat or victory is a collective responsibility and individuals are not responsible.”