NEW DELHI: Seeking to infuse life in "Mission South" of the BJP in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the party chief Amit Shah on Monday appointed P S Sreedharan Pillai as Kerala unit head. The BJP chief also sought to address the criticism of lack of Dalit face among senior office bearers by appointing Dushyant Kumar Gautam as the party vice president.
The BJP national general secretary Arun Singh issued appointment orders, which also included filling up two vacancies for the positions of national secretaries. In an apparent reward to Sunil Deodhar, who spearheaded BJP's campaign in Tripura, the BJP chief appointed him as one of the national secretaries.
Giving a fillip to the "Mission South" of the party, Shah also entrusted the BJP MP V Muraleedharan as in-charge for Andhra Pradesh, while Deodhar would be his deputy. The appointments for key positions in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh follow Shah's visits to the two states during which he had reviewed the organisational activities. Two positions of national secretaries had been lying vacant since the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections last year after Siddharth Singh and Shrikant Sharma were sworn in as ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government in the state.
With the BJP bracing up for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the new appointments are seen as Shah's attempts to infuse new energy in his team by inducting leaders with known organisational capabilities. Deodhar, who has been an RSS import in the BJP, is credited to have scripted the electoral victory of the saffron outfit in Tripura. However, Deodhar of late was being seen as an irritant in the party affairs of Tripura by the state chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, sources said, while adding that a national assignment would help the party utilise his services in Andhra Pradesh.