Sunday, 17 August 2014

BJP flags off Maharashtra campaign, 3 young leaders chosen for national panel

MUMBAI: BJP president Amit Shah has picked three senior party functionaries from Maharashtra as members of the national executive committee, an indication that Shah has set his gaze on the state assembly's October elections.

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe has been appointed one of the 11 vice presidents of the party. Sahasrabuddhe is the anchor-person at Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, the RSS' think tank centre. The soft-spoken RSS ideologue is also the vice president of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai.

Poonam Mahajan, the Mumbai north central MP, has been inducted in the national executive as all-India secretary, while Vijaya Rahatkar, former Aurangabad mayor, is the new national president of the women's wing. All the three appointees are "relatively young," a state BJP functionary pointed out. Team Shah was announced on Saturday.

This, the party functionary pointed out, is Shah's signal to party workers that they should cultivate Maharashtra's Youngistan voters ahead of the state legislative assembly election.

Expressing satisfaction over her appointment, Mahajan said she was looking forward to working with Shah. "Frankly, it's a matter of honour to be a part of the national team under Shah-ji. Youth is the thrust of his politics and policies. He comes across as a vibrant, energetic leader who inspires party workers."

Stating that Shah was popular among grass root workers, Mahajan said, "He greets every karyakarta with a smile. Yet, he is a tough task-master. This makes working with him an exciting proposition." Mahajan is the daughter of the late Pramod Mahajan, the BJP strategist and former Union minister. She was appointed as national secretary in March 2013 by the then party chief Rajnath Singh. Shah has retained her in his team.

There are indications that senior state BJP functionary Sudhir Mungantiwar may soon be inducted as one of the national general secretaries, sources added.

During talks with state BJP functionaries in New Delhi last month, Shah made it clear that he would personally supervise the party's poll preparations. He has instructed party leaders to fan out to the interior of Maharashtra to consolidate grass root activists, and start an all-out offensive against the ruling Congress-NCP combine on a slew of issues such as scandals in the irrigation sector, indecisive leadership and growing crimes against women, said senior party functionary Atul Bhatkhalkar.



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