Tuesday, August 1, 2000,
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Bangaru Laxman to be new BJP chief
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, July 31 The Minister of State for Railways, Mr Bangaru Laxman, will be the next President of the BJP.

The 61-yr-old Mr Laxman will replace Mr Khushabhau Thakre.

Mr Laxman will be resigning from the Union Council of Ministers after he takes over as party President formally.

The BJP central leadership decided on Mr Laxman as the new party President as he belongs to the Scheduled Castes whereas the other strong contender for the post, Mr Jana Krishanamurty, is a Brahmin from Tamil Nadu.

Mr Laxman has emerged as a dark horse as he is multi-lingual apart from being from South India.

He hails from Andhra Pradesh and has been specially picked for the organisational assignment to help the BJP enlarge its base among the SC, ST, Dalits and Other Backward Classes.

His elevation as party president and knowledge of Hindi is expected to garner votes for the BJP from the backward classes during the Assembly elections in the Hindi heartland next year.

Mr Laxman called on Mr Thakre and discussed with him the key areas which need to be strengthened in the party organisation.

The nominations open tomorrow and will continue till August 7.

Mr Laxman is a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat.
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