NEW DELHI:Eight months after taking over as the BJP president, Amit Shah on Thursday reconstituted the National Executive (NE) of the party, dropping some key incumbents and including several ministers, ahead of the party’s meeting in Bengaluru next month.
Some of the key leaders, who have faced the axe, include Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Najma Heptullah and actor-turned-MP Hema Malini. The new entrants include ministers Suresh Prabhu, J P Nadda, Ananth Kumar, Nirmala Sitharaman, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Prakash Javadekar, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Narendra Singh Tomar, General V K Singh, Piyush Goyal, Virendra Singh, Sripad Naik, Ram Shankar Katheriya, Menaka Gandhi and Pon Radhakrishnan.
And ministers including Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Sarbanda Sonowal and Babul Supriyo have been made special invitees. Varun Gandhi has also stage a comeback following his induction into the executive. He had earlier been dropped as general secretary after Shah took over the reins.
Shah has also included senior BJP leader and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh’s son Rajveer Singh (Rajju Bhaiya) and Rajasthan CM Vasundra Raje’s son Dushyant Singh in the team. Three leaders who assisted Shah during the the Lok Sabha campaign in UP -- Haryana minister Captain Abhimanyu, Rameshwar Chaurasiya and Trivendra Rawat -- have been included on the team. Minister Rao Inderjeet Singh, who recently defected to the BJP from the Congr, BJP leader Subramanian Swami, MP S S Ahluwalia and actor Suresh Oberoi have also been made part of the panel.
The announcement of the new team came ahead of the party’s National Executive meeting scheduled to be held in Bengaluru early next month. Sources said Shah had held discussions with senior RSS leaders recently on the new panel and would again be attending the Sangh’s annual meeting in Nagpur. He is also likely to expand the team of the party’s national office-bearers. Meanwhile, Party leaders were baffled over the dropping of Smriti from the panel. The executive has representation from across the country, sources said, adding that the elected representatives have been given due importance.
Shah has retained all the top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and senior ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Kalraj Mishra, Harshvardhan, Bandaru Dattatreya and Radha Mohan Singh.
Other prominent leaders named include Yashwant Sinha, Vinay Katiyar, C P Thakur, Jual Oram, Vijay K Malhotra, Hukumdev Narayan Singh, L Ganesan, Lalji Tandon, O Rajgopal, Tathagat Roy and Gulab Chand Katariya.
Other notable omissions are Arun Singh, Sidharth Nath Singh, Nalin Kohli and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who are office-bearers, and Delhi BJP leaders Jagdish Mukhi, Vijay Jolly, R P Singh and Ramesh Bidhuri.
In fact, the new team has only 13 women members while the last team had 28 women members. Other women members, who have been dropped, include Pinki Anand, Shaina N C, Poonam Azad Surma Padi, Kusum Rai, Ranjana Bhagel, Veena Pandey, Jyoti Dhurve and Sanchita Mohanti.
Apart from the 111 core members, the National Executive will have 40 special invitees and 27 permanent invitees which include all the eight Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled states and two Deputy Chief Ministers. Twenty four former CMs and three former Dy CMs have been made permanent invitees to the NE.