No space for Pankaja Munde in BJP's new state unit

Updated: Jul 04, 2020, 07:48 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

State BJP president Chandrakant Patil rehabilitates some former ministers, including Chandrasekhar Bawankule; Pankaja Munde promised national role

Keshav Upadhye (left) is now the BJP's chief spokesperson; Chandrasekhar Bawankule has been appointed general secretary; Pankaja Munde could be drafted in the national organisation
Keshav Upadhye (left) is now the BJP's chief spokesperson; Chandrasekhar Bawankule has been appointed general secretary; Pankaja Munde could be drafted in the national organisation

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has rehabilitated some former ministers, barring Pankaja Munde, by giving them positions in the state unit. Munde, who was defeated in the 2019 Assembly polls, is reported to have been assured a role in the party's national organisation.

State BJP president Chandrakant Patil, who was appointed for another term in the office early this year, announced his new team on Friday. The team has 12 vice-presidents, 6 general secretaries, 12 secretaries and a treasurer (Mumbai MLA Mihir Kotecha).

Unceremoniously denied an Assembly seat last year, former minister Chandrasekhar Bawankule was made general secretary.

The former energy minister's absence from the election fray had upset a large section of the party's supporters in eastern Vidarbha where it ended losing many seats.

Another former minister Ravindra Chavan, legislators Sujit Singh Thakur and Devyani Pharande, Shrikant Bharatiya and Vijay Puranik (organisation) were also appointed general secretaries.

Ex-ministers Ram Shinde, Jaikumar Rawal, and Sanjay Kute, outgoing chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari, Prasad Lad, Member of Parliament and Pankaja's sister Pritam Munde, Suresh Halvankar, Chitra Wagh and Jaiprakash Thakur are among new vice-presidents.

Estranged leader Eknath Khadse's MP daughter-in-law Raksha has been made secretary. Khadse senior hasn't been given a post, but he will be a special invitee and so will ex-minister Vinod Tawde.

"Khadse is a special invitee on the executive committee. Pankaja Munde is expected to be drafted in the national organisation. She will remain part of the state core committee that takes important decisions," said Patil. He said as a livewire party, the BJP will always have people upset, but that disenchantment was temporary. "Raksha Khadse and Pritam Munde have been appointed not because of their bloodline or family connection, but because they are two-time MPs and excellent leaders," he added.

Keshav Upadhye, who has been working as the party's spokesperson since 2014, will replace Madhav Bhandari as chief spokesperson. Vishwas Pathak will head the media cell. Ashish Kulkarni will be social media chief.

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