Varun Gandhi was today dropped as General Secretary by BJP president Amit Shah who constituted his new team, inducting former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa as Vice President and new RSS pointsman Ram Madhav as General Secretary.
A week after his formal anointment as party President, Shah announced his new team of party office bearers that includes 11 Vice Presidents, eight General Secretaries and 14 Secretaries. The new team also includes 10 party Spokespersons, five of them are new.
While dropping Sultanpur MP Varun, whose mother Maneka Gandhi is a minister in Modi government, Shah has retained General Secretaries JP Nadda, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Murlidhar Rao and Ramlal, who will continue to take care of the organisation affairs.
Party sources said that Varun has not been included because his mother has been included in the Modi Cabinet as Minister of State with independent charge. The four new General Secretaries are Ram Madhav, the RSS face who was sent to the party recently, outgoing BJP Mahila Morcha chief Saroj Pandey, Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan Bhupendra Yadav and Ram Shankar Katheriya.
Yeddyurappa, who had formed his own outfit after being forced to quit as chief minister following corruption charges but had rejoined on poll eve, is among the 11 Vice Presidents in Shah's new team. Former Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been retained as Vice President.
The other Vice Presidents are Bandaru Dattatreya and Satyapal Malik, both Lok Sabha members, Purushottam Rupala and Prabhat Jha, former state unit presidents and Raghuvar Das, a former deputy chief minister of Jharkhand.
The other Vice Presidents are Kiran Maheshwari (a former MP from Rajasthan), Vinay Sahasrabuddhe (one of the BJP's think-tank), Renu Devi (from Bihar) and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma. The team has a mix of party workers from across the country but has major representation from poll-bound states of Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand. The team also includes five OBCs, six women and has representation from SCs and STs as well. 80 per cent of Shah's team are below the age of 60.
Shah's new team has 14 secretaries. Shrikant Sharma, who heads the media unit of the party, is one of the new Secretaries. Siddharth Nath Singh, who was in charge of West Bengal where the party registered some success in the Lok Sabha polls, have been retained as Secretaries.
Former union minister Pramod Mahajan's daughter Poonam Mahajan has also been made a Secretary.
Other party Secretaries are Shyam Jaju, Anil Jain, H Raja, Ramesh Deka, Sudha Yadav, Ram Shekar Netam, Arun Singh, R P Singh, Jyoti Dhruve, Tarun Chugh and Rajneesh Kumar. The new team has retained Anurag Thakur as the Youth Wing chief and appointed former Aurangabad Mayor Vijaya Rahatkar as the new Mahila Morcha chief.