B L Santhosh was appointed as the new national General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reports Economic Times.
Santhosh worked as BJP's general secretary (organisation) for eight years in the Karnataka unit and was appointed national joint general secretary in-charge of southern states in 2014 by Amit Shah. The incumbent Ramlal had completed about 12 years in the party and RSS was keen to call him back for organisational work and responsibilities.
The person in the post of General Secretary (organisation) acts as a link between the RSS leadership and the BJP. The post of general secretary (organisation) at state levels is also filled by people from the RSS background.
Trained as a chemical engineer, Santhosh has been a full time worker of RSS since 1993. He can fluently speak five languages- English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Tulu. He hails from Shivamogga in Karnataka and his appointment shows a renewed focus of the party on southern states.
The ideology of RSS inspired him so much, that Santhosh decided against marriage, devoted his life to the Sangh and took various important roles in the organisation in southern India.
Reportedly, Santhosh dons an image of “hardliner pracharak” and is known for his organisational skills and prudent management during elections. Despite maintaining low profile, Santhosh is known as fierce and no nonsense behind-the-scene strategist.
Tussle with B S Yeddyurappa
The 2008 victory of saffron party in the state of Karnataka was masterminded by Santhosh from behind the scenes. This resulted with a BJP government in the state with Yeddyurappa at its helm. Santhosh and Yeddyurappa did not get along well. Former believed that the latter was denting the image of the party in the state.
Yeddyurappa’s resignation in 2011 over a land scam is also said to be a result of Santhosh’s emphasis. This resulted in widening of the gulf between the two leaders. When on state visit before Lok Sabha elections, Amit Shah had also asked both of them to sit together and resolve their differences by talking.
It is claimed that despite being in the politics from BJP, Santhosh sticks to his principles rooted in RSS ideology. His supporters claim that he is a full-time Sangh pracharak and has no ambitions to be a chief minister, but the welfare of the Sangathan. Santhosh is not known to hold back if a BJP leader or the party leadership deviates from the core principles.