This Article is From Aug 16, 2014

BJP Chief Amit Shah Announces New Team, Varun Gandhi Dropped as General Secretary

BJP President Amit Shah at a rally in Mahendergarh in Haryana on Thursday, August 13.

New Delhi: BS Yeddyurappa's rehabilitation in the BJP is now complete, with the Karnataka strongman being inducted as a vice-president in party chief Amit Shah's new team.

Mr Yeddyurappa, 71, is one of 11 vice-presidents that Mr Shah has appointed in what the BJP has described as "a new, young team." The party's JP Nadda said, "60 per cent of the new office-bearers are under 50." Very few are over 60 years of age. (In Haryana, Amit Shah Asks BJP Leaders to Make Winning a Habit)

But 34-year-old Varun Gandhi has lost the post of General Secretary that he was handed last year. The MP from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh has not been given an alternate party post. (Also Read: Amit Shah Begins Knitting Strategy for State Polls)

Mr Gandhi's ouster is in line with Mr Modi's policy of Cabinet minister's children not being given posts; his mother Maneka Gandhi is the Women and Child Development Minister in the PM's Cabinet.

In a big reshuffle, the new BJP chief has also named Bandaru Dattatrey and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi as vice-presidents. His new team will have eight general secretaries, including Rajiv Pratap Rudy from Bihar and Ram Madhav, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS spokesman who was recently deputed to the BJP. (Also Read: Difference Between PMs Modi and Vajpayee, as Explained by Amit Shah)

Mr Nadda, who is a party general secretary, said, "Modiji's mission will be implemented by this new Yuva BJP team under Amit Shah's leadership."

Another surprise exclusion is that of Rameshwar Chaurasia, party secretary in charge of UP, who was considered a close aide of Mr Shah.

Amit Shah, 51, took over as BJP chief last month after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh stepped down in deference to a party rule that no member must hold dual positions. Mr Shah's appointment was ratified at a meeting of BJP leaders last week. (Amit Shah 'Man of The Match', Says PM Modi)

He in the meantime held many consultations with Prime Minister Modi and the RSS, which is the BJP's ideological mentor, to structure his team. Mr Shah is Mr Modi's closest aide and the RSS reportedly overcame serious reservations over two Gujarat leaders holding the two top posts to facilitate what it hopes will be seamless synergy between the BJP and the government it leads. ('In Every State, BJP Should be a Force to Reckon With': Amit Shah)

Mr Shah's appointment signaled Mr Modi's complete control over the party after the spectacular victory he scripted for it in the national elections this year. So does Mr Yeddyurappa's appointment today; only two years ago he had quit the BJP after the party forced him to resign as Karnataka chief minister over corruption charges. (Also Read: Counting on Amit Shah Formula to Win Maharashtra, Says BJP)

He rejoined the party last year after Narendra Modi took charge of the BJP's campaign for the general election.