Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ‘pracharak’ Sunil Deodhar, who was credited with being one the architects of the BJP’s victory in Tripura, was on Monday shifted to Andhra Pradesh as party’s co-incharge.
Deodhar, the BJP’s in-charge of Tripura, has also been appointed as party’s national Secretary. He will assist party MP V. Muraleedharan, who has been appointed as party’s state in-charge of Andhra Pradesh.
BJP sources said Deodhar’s shift followed detailed discussions within the top party leadership which took note of reports of his creating hurdles for Chief Minister Biplab Deb.
Sources said Deodhar and Deb enjoyed good rapport until Deb was appointed Chief Minister.
The sources said Deodhar had opposed Deb’s candidature for the top job and wanted Congress’ turncoat Sudip Roy Barman, currently the Health Minister, as Chief Minister. But the party’s central leadership backed Deb.
Since then the relationship between the two has not been on an even keel.
A BJP leader told IANS that Deb was not comfortable with Deodhar and had urged the party leadership to find a way out.
By winning two-thirds majority with ally IPFT, the BJP in March this year had ended 25 years of uninterrupted rule of CPI-M in the state.
The BJP President also appointed Dushyant Kumar Gautam as party’s national Vice President. He was earlier president of the party’s Scheduled Caste cell.
Besides these appointments, senior party leader P.S. Sreedharan Pillai was appointed the new President of the party’s Kerala unit.
The appointments by party president Amit Shah come into immediate effect, a statement by BJP general secretary Arun Singh said.
Pillai, who is termed by his friends and foes as the “sober face” in the BJP’s Kerala unit, said he was never an aspirant for the post.
He succeeds Kummanam Rajasekharan, who was recently appointed Governor of Mizoram.
“I will say with pride that I was there when the BJP was first formed and I have contested various elections in the state as my party’s candidate in Kerala. I held the same post during 2003-06. It was during that time we won two seats in Lok Sabha (P.C. Thomas who contested from the Muvattupuzha constituency as IFDP candidate, which was an ally of the NDA alliance and also the Lok Sabha seat in Lakshadweep),” Pillai told media persons in Thiruvananthapuram.
He pointed out that this time it is going to both a challenge and an opportunity for him.
“In Kerala, the BJP has not done well. I am hopeful that with my contacts across the Kerala society, I will be able to perform,” said Pillai.