NEW DELHI, August 18, 2022 (TBNN)
In a major shake-up, Bhartiya Janta Party on Wednesday dropped Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from its parliamentary board, its apex organisational body and brought in six new members, including Karnataka leader B.S. Yediyurappa and Iqbal Singh Lalpura, first Sikh representative.
The party also rejigged its Central Election Committee (C.E.C.) and named Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister Bhupender Yadav among its new members.
Gadkari and Chouhan ceased to be C.E.C. members after their ouster from the board. All parliamentary board members, which include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh and B.J.P.’s president J.P. Nadda, automatically become part of the C.E.C., which has some additional members as well. The other new board members are K. Laxman, Sudha Yadav and Satyanarayan Jatiya, three old party faithfuls but considered political lightweights.
Omission of former B.J.P.’s president Gadkari, aged 65, considered close to the Rashtriya Swayam-Sewak Sangh and Chouhan, aged 63, marks their diminishing stock within the party which has tried to make its key organisational bodies more socially and regionally representative by inducting members of different communities, including former cop and leader from Punjab, Lalpura, currently the Chairman of National Commission for Minorities.
Former Union ministers Jual Oram and Shahnawaz Hussain have been dropped from the C.E.C. After these changes, the board now has the full strength of 11 members while the C.E.C. has 15 leaders. The new entrants to the C.E.C. are Rajasthan’s leader Om Mathur and B.J.P.’s Women Wing Chief Vanathi Srinivasan besides Fadnavis and Bhupender Yadav. Srinivasan replaces her predecessor Vijaya Rahatkar as party’s Mahila Morcha Chief as its an ex-officio member.
With Chouhan gone, there will be no chief minister on the board. There was speculation that Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath may make an entry. Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who is also Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, Dharmendra Pradhan and Bhupender Yadav were also seen as contenders.