Satish Upadhyay, the Standing Committee chairman of South Delhi Municipal Corporation, was tonight appointed as the president of the Delhi BJP unit.
BJP president Rajnath Singh announced Upadhyay's appointment late tonight, and said the appointment will come into effect immediately. Upadhyay succeeded Harsh Vardhan, who had resigned from the post after being elected an MP from Chandni Chowk and elevated to the Union Cabinet. His appointment comes at a time when suspense over the impending Delhi Assembly elections continue to loom large, with the BJP keeping the cards close to its chest with regard to its future strategy in the state. "My priority is to strengthen the party and carry forward the mandate given to BJP by the people of this country," Upadhyay told PTI late tonight. "Our priority is to keep the organisation united and take every one along," he said.
Asked when the Assembly elections could be held in Delhi, he said, "I think it's too premature to comment on it now... The national leadership will decide the future course of action."
BJP had won 32 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly in the last elections, falling short of a simple majority.
Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, which won 28 seats, formed the government with outside support from Congress.
Kejriwal, however, resigned after 49 days in office, following which the Delhi Assembly continues to be in suspended animation. Delhi is now under the President's Rule.
"Delhi BJP welcomes the appointment of Satish Upadhyay as Delhi pradesh president," the party's Delhi unit said in a statement.
A Municipal Councillor from Malviya Nagar, 52-year-old Upadhyay has been a former Vice President of BJP. He had been active in the youth wing of the party and in student politics. "My priority is to strengthen the party and help spread out the message of Narendra Modi government to reach out to all," Upadhyay said.
Hailing from Agra in Uttar pradesh, Upadhyay has been in active politics for the past 30 years. He started his political life when he was a member of the Delhi University Students Union in the early 1980s.
He has been a former president of the youth wing of the party and also an all-India general secretary of BJYM when Uma Bharti was its chief.