BJP rejigs national executive; Smriti, Najma left out

New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday reconstituted the party's national executive, but union ministers Smriti Irani and Najma Heptulla did not find a place in it.

Smriti Irani
Smriti Irani

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior party leader L.K. Advani were among the 111 members of the national executive.

There are 27 permanent invitees, including chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of states where the Bharatiya Janata Party is in power.

Apart from 40 special invitees, all leaders of the party in state assemblies and councils and state presidents will also be invitees to the national executive.

The new national executive is expected to hold its first meeting next month in Bengaluru.

Among other prominent BJP faces who do not figure in the national executive were actor Hema Malini and Shaina N.C, a young leader of the party in Maharashtra.

Kiran Bedi, the BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Delhi, who lost the election, was also not in the national executive.

While many leaders from the previous executive were retained, there were several new faces.

Except for Irani and Heptulla, most cabinet ministers were included in the new national executive. They include Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, M. Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Maneka Gandhi, Jagat Prakash Nadda, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Kalraj Mishra, Narendra Singh Tomar, Radha Mohan Singh, Jual Oram, Suresh Prabhu and Harsh Vardhan.

Several ministers of state were also included, while ministers of state, some with independent charge, were also in the national executive.

They include Bandaru Dattatreya, Dharmendra Pradhan, Rajeev Pratap Rudy, Prakash Javadekar, V.K. Singh, Piyush Goyal, Kiren Rijiju, Mahesh Sharma and Nirmala Sitharaman.

Others prominent faces in the list were Yashwant Sinha, Vinay Katiyar, C.P. Thakur, S.S. Ahluwalia, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Varun Gandhi, Satpal Maharaj, Captain Abhimanyu, O. Rajagopal, Subramanian Swamy and Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Irani, who is apparently the youngest cabinet minister, was considered a rising star in the BJP but her not being included in the national executive is being seen in political circles as a sign of her falling stock in the party.

Party veterans in the national executive include Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Murli Manohar Joshi apart from Advani.

A party leader said national office bearers, including party general secretaries and secretaries, were invited to the national executive meeting though they may not be members.

"Office bearers, including spokespersons and chiefs of various frontal organisations, are automatically invited (to the national executive meeting)," said the leader who did not want to be named.

Party MP Yogi Adityanath and union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, whose remarks have sparked controversies in the past, are also in the national executive.

While Adityanath is a member of the national executive, Jyoti is among the special invitees.

BJP chief ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh, Vasundhara Raje, Anandiben Patel, Raghubar Das, Devendra Fadnavis, Manohar Lal Khattar and Laxmikant Parsekar apart from deputy chief ministers Francis D'Souza and Nirmal Singh are also among the permanent invitees.

The list of permanent invitees includes former chief ministers and union ministers Uma Bharti, Manohar Parrikar and D.V. Sadananda Gowda.

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