On Thursday (23 March), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced the appointment of four new state presidents in Rajasthan, Bihar, Odisha and Delhi.
The appointments reflect the party’s bid to strengthen its organisational structure and consolidate its support base in the lead-up to critical state and national elections.
In Rajasthan, Lok Sabha MP C P Joshi has been named state president, MLC Samrat Choudhary, belonging to the OBC community will head the Bihar unit.
Manmohan Samal, a former state minister and state president, has been appointed as the party's Odisha unit chief, and Virendra Sachdeva has been elevated to head the Delhi unit.
Choudhary, a prominent leader from the politically significant Kushwaha community, joined the BJP in 2018 and has since climbed the party ranks. He replaces Sanjay Jaiswal as the head of the Bihar BJP.
Joshi, belonging to the Brahmin community and two-time MP from Chittorgarh, takes the reins from Satish Poonia, an MLA from Jaipur's Amber constituency.
As a native of the Mewar region, Joshi is well-positioned to consolidate support for the BJP in the area, following the recent transition of veteran Rajasthan BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria, also from Mewar, to Assam governor, which removes him from active politics.
Both Poonia and Kataria have had strained relationships with former chief minister Vasundhara Raje. Joshi's appointment signals the BJP's renewed confidence in Raje's leadership.
Meanwhile, Samal, a former state minister and president, is a grassroots other backward classes (OBC) leader, with an RSS background. He is seen as the reason behind the BJP retaining the Dhamnagar seat in a by-election despite the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD)’s best efforts.
The state of Odisha has a significant OBC population. Both BJP and the BJD are putting their best foot forward to woo the community.
In Delhi, Sachdeva has garnered praise from the top leadership of the party for his unifying leadership as the state unit’s working president, succeeding Adesh Gupta.
He has intensified the BJP's opposition to the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi amid ongoing corruption allegations involving the party.
As a member of the Punjabi community, Sachdeva maintains a low-profile approach, concentrating on organisational development, and has contributed to the party in various capacities over the years.
The primary objective behind the selection is to bolster the party's support among the OBC communities, fortify its organizational structure, and provide a robust Hindutva thrust.
(with inputs from PTI).
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