The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has chosen Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP from Dakshina Kannada, as the new Karnataka state president of the party. He takes over from BS Yediyurappa who was sworn in as chief minister of Karnataka for the fourth time last month.
The party tweeted: "Congratulations to Shri @nalinkateel ji on being appointed as president of Karnataka BJP. The party will scale to new heights under his guidance & leadership."
Mr Kateel was an unexpected choice with many believing the post would go to any of the senior leaders who were not picked for Tuesday's cabinet expansion.
Mr Kateel would also be seen as a controversial choice because of some of the comments the 53-year-old MP, was has an RSS background, has made before. In the run up to this year's Lok Sabha polls, he had tweeted in Kannada: "Godse killed just one. Ajmal Kasab killed 72. Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You decide who is most cruel in this." He later deleted the tweet and apologised.
Mr Kateel's selection as state president was coincidentally made on Rajiv Gandhi's 75th birth anniversary on Tuesday.