Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 7
Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi, the only BJP leader who openly took a strong stand contrary to the party line on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, was today dropped from the new national executive committee barely hours after he shared a video of the violence demanding accountability.
His mother Maneka Gandhi, party MP from Sultanpur (UP), was also excluded from the 80-member committee, which has top BJP leaders, including PM Narendra Modi and Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari.
A party statement said 50 special invitees and 179 permanent invitees had been included in the new panel.
While Varun has been speaking in support of the agitating farmers, his mother too is believed to be sympathetic towards their cause. Taking a strong stand on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, Varun had posted messages demanding strict and time-bound action. In a tweet on Wednesday, what he called a “crystal clear” version of the Lakhimpur violence, Varun said, “Protesters cannot be silenced through murder. There has to be accountability for the innocent blood of farmers.” He had also written to CM Yogi Adityanath, asking for a CBI probe and Rs 1 crore compensation for victims’ families.
Others dropped from the panel include former Union minister Chaudhary Birender Singh, who too is believed to be disgruntled over the farmers’ issues, Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria, Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, firebrand Hindutva leader Vinay Katiyar, Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy and old-timers like CP Thakur, Vijay Goel, Suresh Prabhu and Arti Mehra.
Party leaders claim more than 30-40 per cent of the names are changed every time a new executive is formed. Some are bound to be dropped to make way for new faces. The party has expanded in West Bengal, therefore new leaders from the state had to be included, they say.
The executive is a key deliberative body of the party which meets to discuss important issues and shapes the organisation’s agenda. The disruption caused by the pandemic has prevented its meeting for a while now. The last meeting was in January 2019. Sources claim a meeting could be held early next month.
Those inducted into the new executive include Jyotiraditya Scindia, S Jaishankar, Meenakshi Lekhi, Anurag Singh Thakur, Hardeep Puri, Som Prakash, Bhupender Yadav, Krishan Pal Gurjar, Sunita Duggal, Mithun Chakraborty and Swapan Dasgupta.
Other prominent exits
Birender Singh, Subramanian Swamy, Rattan Lal Kataria, Kirron Kher, Vinay Katiyar
Entrants from region
- Haryana: Bhupender Yadav, Krishan P Gurjar, Sunita Duggal
- Punjab: HS Puri, Som Prakash
- Uttarakhand: Satpal Maharaj, Vijay Bahuguna, Ajay Bhatt
- Himachal: Anurag Thakur
- J&K: Jitendra Singh, Darakhshan Andrabi
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