The BJP on Thursday (March 23) named new presidents for four of its state units – Rajasthan, Bihar, Odisha and Delhi. Lok Sabha member CP Joshi was named in Rajasthan, which will elect a new Assembly later this year, while OBC leader and MLC Samrat Choudhary took charge of Bihar.
BJP president J P Nadda appointed Manmohan Samal, a former state minister, as the head of the Odisha unit while Delhi working president Virendra Sachdeva was elevated as its chief.
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The move is aimed at toning up the BJP’s organisational machinery in the four states, all of which are ruled by non-BJP parties.
Choudhary (54), whose standing within the BJP has steadily risen since he joined it in 2018, is the leader of the party in the Bihar legislative council and comes from the politically crucial Kushwaha community.
He replaces Lok Sabha MP Sanjay Jaiswal.
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Joshi (47) will replace Satish Poonia, an MLA from Jaipur’s Amber constituency, and comes close on the heels of veteran Rajasthan BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria being eased out of active politics.
Kataria has been named the Assam governor.
A Brahmin, Joshi is a second-time Lok Sabha member from Chittorgarh.
Like Kataria, Poonia, too, did not have the best of equations with former chief minister Vasundhara Raj,e who remains the BJPs most formidable leader in the state.
The party’s central leadership has had its reservations with her but there are indications that equations have improved between them.
Samal, a former MP, is one of the better-known BJP faces from Odisha and is seen to bring more heft than his predecessor Samir Mohanty. He is aggressive and his politics bears a distinct Hindutva mark.
BJP sources said Sachdeva has been impressive in his short stint at the Delhi working president following the removal of Adesh Gupta from the helm.
Sachdeva is low-key and has been able to infuse a sense of cohesion in the state unit often pulled in different directions by local heavyweights.
(With agency inputs)