Jalandhar, September 18
As many 12 positions have been bagged by BJP leaders from Doaba in the list of state office-bearers announced by the party on Sunday.
As many as eight leaders of the party from Doaba have been included in the party’s core committee, two from Doaba have been chosen as state vice-presidents and one leader each from Doaba has been chosen as the state general secretary and state secretary.
While the state BJP list includes a generous amount of new joinees, who recently came in from other parties, among the Doaba office-bearers, only two stand out as having joined the BJP recently — ex-Akali Dal MLA Charanjit Singh Atwal and former SAD leader Avinash Chander.
Former SAD leader Charanjit Singh Atwal served as Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Atwal’s son Inder Iqbal Atwal was also the BJP’s chosen candidate fielded for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll. Veteran Doaba Dalit leader and former SAD MLA Avinash Chander (two- time MLA from Kartarpur and Phillaur) had also joined the BJP in February last year.
In all, the eight Doaba BJP leaders who have made it to the party’s state core committee include veteran BJP leaders (national executive member and former cabinet minister) Manoranjan Kalia, Charanjit Singh Atwal and Avinash Chander (Dalit leader and two time MLA) from Jalandhar.
From Hoshiarpur, Union Minister Som Parkash, former Union minister and former Chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Vijay Sampla, veteran leader Avinash Rai Khanna (party’s national executive member and Himachal Pradesh in-charge) and Tikshan Sood (former cabinet minister) have been included, as well as senior party leader Jangi Lal Mahajan from Mukerian. Veteran Jalandhar leader, former MLA and ex-CPS KD Bhandari and senior BJP leader Rajesh Bagga, both Jalandhar-based, are the two Doaba leaders chosen as state vice-presidents in the new list. Bagga was the state general secretary and former Chairman of the Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission.
BJP leader Rakesh Rathore has been chosen as state general secretary. Rakesh Rathore has been a former mayor of Jalandhar city and two-time general secretary of the state as well as three-time state vice-president. Meanwhile, Meenu Sethi from Hoshiarpur has been chosen as the state secretary. A senior district BJP leader said, “The list this year maintains a vital balance as half the people on the list of vice-presidents and general secretaries are from the BJP and the other half who had recently joined in. The new names have been included as per their competence.”
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