Hindu News: With an eye on the forthcoming elections in important States, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday made crucial changes in the party organisation and announced the formation of a separate wing for the Other Backward Class, a politically significant group in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
DNA News: The move to set up a OBC morcha comes ahead of elections in Bihar, where the Janata Parivar constituents– Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav– could hold a sway over a large chunk of the nearly 50 per cent backward classe votes, which include the Yadavs, Kurmis and Koeris. In Uttar Pradesh, where elections are due in two years, also the OBC vote is crucial in an election which is four-cornered.
Winning elections in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and the mega programme for keeping connected to new members dominated the meeting of office-bearers held for the first time after the recent changes. The primary aim of the meeting was to strive for victory in the elections. “Work more,” Mr. Shah said, asked what was the message of the changes. He will visit several cities in the next few weeks to meet party in-charge of the adjoining States.
While additional hands were appointed for Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya was appointed in charge of West Bengal and Siddharth Nath Singh as co-in-charge. Mr. Singh was given the additional responsibility of Andhra Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh in-charge Om Mathur was given more manpower with the appointment of five new co-in-charges, including MPs Ramesh Bidhuri and Virendra Khateek.
S.P. Singh Baghel, a Backward Class leader from Uttar Pradesh, will head the new OBC wing. With the Land Acquisition Bill and other farmers’ issues on the boil, the party upgraded the Kisan Morcha and appointed Vijay Pal Singh Tomar as president and Satyapal Malik and Nityanand Rai as co-in-charge.
Union Minister Ananth Kumar was recently appointed election in-charge in Bihar to meet the challenge of the Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad combine. Shyam Jaju was given the charge of Delhi.
Purandeshwari Devi, the former UPA Minister who joined the BJP before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, replaced Vijya Rahtar as in charge of Mahila Morcha. She was also made co-in-charge of Karnataka, along with in-charge P. Muralidhar Rao. Mr. Rao was brought back as in-charge of Tamil Nadu. He was also made chief of Yuva Morcha in place of Anurag Thakur.
Union Minister J.P. Nadda was relieved of the party responsibilities. In his place, the former Mahila Morcha chief, Saroj Pandey, was given the charge of Maharashtra. Avinash Rai Khanna was made in charge of Rajasthan.
Prabhat Jha, former in-charge of Delhi, was given the charge of Punjab and Chandigarh. Delhi MP Mahesh Giri was given the charge of Lakshadweep.
Union Minister of State Rajeev Pratap Rudy was dropped as in-charge of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.