The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has chosen three-time Paschim (West) Champaran MP, Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, as president of its Bihar unit, replacing Nityanand Rai, who has become minister of state for home affairs in the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
A notification on the appointment was issued in New Delhi on Saturday by BJP general secretary Arun Singh after national president Amit Shah approved it, said BJP’s national media in-charge Sanjay Mayukh.
The BJP also appointed legislator and spokesperson Satish Punia as the party chief in Rajasthan, weeks after the death of state president and Rajya Sabha member Madan Lal Saini. Hailing from Churu’s Rajgarh, Punia, 55, is the legislator from Amber constituency in Jaipur district. The party named Ajay Kumar as general secretary in-charge of organisation in Uttarakhand.
“The BJP will play a sharp, strong and effective role as opposition — both inside and outside of the house. We will try to make Rajasthan free from the Congress,” Punia told at the party headquarters in Jaipur after being appointed as the state president on Saturday.
Regarding his Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) background, Punia said, “If there was no RSS, there would have been no Hindustan…”.
A doctor by profession, the 54-year-old Jaiswal is BJP’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha. “It’s a big responsibility entrusted to me. My immediate task would be to ensure that organisational elections are conducted on time and strong booth committees are formed. Once we have strong booth committees, road for assembly elections will become easy,” Jaiswal told HT.
The party leadership wanted a relatively young leader who could be groomed for bigger roles in the future. The party’s Bihar in-charge Bhupendra Yadav had suggested that either Jaiswal or state unit vice-president Devesh Kumar be picked for the job, but the former’s performance as chief whip tilted the balance in his favour, the people said on condition of anonymity.
Jaiswal belongs to EBC (Kalwar) community, which forms 26% of Bihar’s population, and has been associated with the RSS since his childhood. His father, Dr Madan Jaiswal, also represented the West Champaran seat thrice.
Jaiswal’s appointment as the BJP Bihar president comes at a time when a section of the party leadership is demanding that its state leader be projected as the chief ministerial candidate .The party rules Bihar in an alliance with chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), a partner in the NDA.
“It will be a tough task for him if the BJP wants to keep the NDA united in the face of growing demands for a new face of the NDA. Though the issue of seat-sharing will be decided by the central leadership, it remains to be seen how many seats he will be able to bargain for the BJP, given the fact that the BJP and the JD (U) contested an equal number of seats in the Lok Sabha,” said a senior BJP leader, who wished not to be named.
Sep 15, 2019 00:56 IST