The BJP today named four new state presidents, including Lok Sabha MP C P Joshi in Rajasthan and OBC leader and MLC Samrat Choudhary in Bihar, as the party moves to tone up its organisational machinery with an eye on consolidating its support base in the run up to crucial state and national polls.
BJP president J P Nadda also appointed Manmohan Samal, a former state minister, as the head of the party's Odisha unit, while Delhi working president Virendra Sachdeva was elevated as its chief.
Mr Choudhary (54), whose standing within the BJP has steadily risen after joining the party in 2018, is the leader of the party in the Bihar legislative council and comes from the politically important Kushwaha community. He replaces Lok Sabha MP Sanjay Jaiswal at the helm of the Bihar BJP.
Mr Joshi (47) will replace Satish Poonia, an MLA from Jaipur's Amber constituency, and comes close on the heels of veteran Rajasthan BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria being eased out of active politics following his appointment as Assam governor.
A Brahmin face, Joshi is a second time MP from Chittorgarh Lok Sabha seat.
Like Mr Kataria, Mr Poonia, too, did not have the best of equations with former chief minister Vasundhara Raje who remains the BJP's most formidable leader in the state. The party's central leadership has had its reservations with her but there have been indications that equations have improved between them.
Assembly polls will be held in the Congress-ruled state later this year.
BJP sources noted that the term of the state presidents had got over.
Mr Samal, a former MP, is one of the better known BJP faces from Odisha and is seen to bring more heft than his predecessor Samir Mohanty, political watchers said. He is aggressive and his politics bears a distinct Hindutva mark, they added. He had headed the state BJP earlier as well.
BJP sources said Mr Sachdeva has been impressive in his short stint at the party's Delhi working president following the removal of Adesh Gupta from the helm. He is low-key and out and out organisational person who has been able to infuse a sense of cohesion in the state unit often pulled in different directions by local heavyweights, they added.
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