Himanta Biswa Sarma, who defected from Congress to BJP and played a key role in its big Assam win, and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, a new entrant to the saffron party, were today inducted into its National Executive, a day before it meets for a two-day session in Allahabad.
BJP brought several new faces to its key body, the highlight being some former Congress leaders, including former Odisha Chief Minister and tribal leader Giridhar Gamang and former union minister K P Singh Deo, also from that state.
The party also inducted into the National Executive several of its former state unit chiefs, including Laxmikant Bajpai of Uttar Pradesh, Prahlad Joshi of Karnataka, V Muraleedharan of Kerala, Kamal Sharma of Punjab and Chaoba Singh of Manipur. All these four leaders were heading the party in their states until recently.
Party sources said these leaders were inducted keeping in mind their “stature”, the need to the strengthen party in states like Odisha and the to make the body more representative.
All former party chief ministers are permanent invitees to the National Executive but Bahuguna, a former Congressman, and Gamang were inducted to give them an equal status, they said.
Bajpai, a Brahmin, has been made a member of the body as the party wants to consolidate the community’s votes in its favour. Constituting more than 10 per cent of UP’s population, Brahmins play a crucial role in the elections and it was their votes that had tilted the scale in Mayawati’s favour in 2007.