New Delhi, August 17
In a major shake-up, the BJP today reconstituted its parliamentary board, its top organisational body, by including new faces and dropping senior minister Nitin Gadkari and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, indicating their diminishing influence in the party.
- First time board rejigged under Nadda, who took over as party prez in 2020
- There were several vacancies — Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj passed away; Venkaiah Naidu and Thaawarchand Gehlot became Vice-President and Guv, respectively
- Advani & MM Joshi were eased out in 2014 when Shah was party president
- Gadkari’s ouster from the board signals his diminishing influence in party
- It also signals generational shift as Gadkari is considered close to RSS
The omission of Gadkari from the powerful board signals a major generational and political shift in the party. Both Gadkari and Chouhan ceased to be party’s Central Election Committee (CEC) members after their ouster from the board.
All parliamentary board members, which include PM Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh and party chief JP Nadda, automatically become part of the CEC.
The BJP brought in six new board members. They are former Punjab IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura, the first Sikh representative on the board, Haryana leader Sudha Yadav, former Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa, Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal, party’s OBC Morcha head K Laxman and senior MP leader Satyanarayan Jatiya.
They are also a part of the rejigged CEC along with Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, Union minister Bhupendra Yadav, party’s women wing president Vanathi Srinivasan and senior leader Om Mathur.
Former Union ministers Jual Oram and Shahnawaz Hussain have been dropped from the CEC. The board now has the full strength of 11 members, while the CEC has 15 leaders.
Lalpura, chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, is the first Sikh to have a seat on the board. Having held key posts during the militancy period in Punjab, Lalpura was one of the officers who arrested Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in a case related to clash between some Sikhs and Nirankari sect members.
This is the first time the panels have been reconstituted under Nadda, who took over as the party president in 2020. The board had several vacancies caused by the death of Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, while Venkaiah Naidu and Thaawarchand Gehlot had to leave it after becoming Vice-President and state Governor, respectively.
Yediyurappa’s inclusion highlights the party’s efforts to reward the Lingayat leader whose community is critical to its poll prospects in the Karnataka Assembly election slated for the next year. He was replaced by Basavaraj Bommai as CM in 2021.
Leaders said the new board showed how the party rewarded old workers and valued the experience of its workers. The parliamentary board is the BJP’s top body, which decides on chief ministers, state chiefs and other key posts.
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