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BJP positions remain vacant since cabinet reshuffle

By Brajendra Nath Singh,

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet formation has left his party depleted of leaders to take charge of crucial postions.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah has been unable to fill positions after many of the office bearers of the party were sworn in to perform ministerial functions last November.

“More than five months after the reshuffle, we are still facing vacancies. It has resulted in serious organisational crisis in the party,” a BJP source told IANS, not wishing to be identified.

A party spokesman refused to comment on the matter, saying it was the prerogative of the party president to fill postions as and when he desires.

Shah had announced his team in July last year after taking over as the party president. His team had 11 vice presidents, eight general secretaries (including one general secretary) and 14 secretaries.

Of the 11 vice presidents, four left. Bandaru Dattatreya was made minister of state (independent charge) for labour and employment and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi given minority affairs. Raghuvar Das became chief minister of Jharkhand and Kiran Maheshwari was inducted into Vasundhara Raje’s government in Rajasthan as cabinet minister of public health and water resources.

Out of eight general secretaries, three were assigned responsibilities as ministers in the Modi government. J.P Nadda was made cabinet minister with health portfolio, Rajiv Pratap Rudy was made Minister of State (independent charge) for Skill and entrepreneurship and Ramshankar Katheria was given responsibility as minister of state for human resource development.

Adding to the earlier vacancies, six seats of vice presidents, five of general secretaries and one post of Secretary are now lying vacant in the party.

At present there are 64 ministers in Modi Cabinet, including 26 cabinet ministers, 13 ministers of state (independent charge) and 25 ministers of state.

A party officials who did not want to be named told IANS that a few months back, Shah had requested Modi to allocate organisation work to some of the BJP leaders. But no such decision was taken.

According to the party constitution, no post can remain vacant for more than six months. The time limit may be breached soon, says the official, unless Shah moves fast to fill in the vacancies.

With many “efficient and experienced” party officials getting ministerial berths, the party president is finding it hard to fill positions, the official said. That was the reason why in a rate move Ram Madhav, an RSS functionary, was brought in as general secretary of the party organisation, he added.

(Brajendra Nath Singh can be contacted at [email protected])