Agency New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday elevated party’s joint general secretary (organisation) B L Santosh as its general secretary (organisation), a day after Ramlal was moved back to the RSS after holding the post for over 13 years. Santosh, an RSS ‘pracharak’ working in the BJP since 2006, is considered an ideologue who is equally well-versed with the dynamics of electoral politics. The BJP said in a statement that he will assume his new responsibility with immediate effect. It is considered that he enjoys the trust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah. His views have often played a key role in the party’s decisions related to southern states, especially Karnataka, a place he hails from and where he was the BJP’s general secretary (organisation) for eight years from 2006. In 2014, the BJP gave him a national position, making him one of the associates of Ramlal as a joint general secretary (organisation). He was given the charge of southern states. An assertive leader who can effectively espouse the party’s Hindutva ideology, Santosh’s appointment to the second most powerful post in the party assumes extra significance at a time when it is set to undergo organisational changes. Ahead of the recent Lok Sabha elections, he had strongly defended the BJP’s surprise decision to not give ticket to its senior leader Ananth Kumar’s widow Tejaswini Ananth Kumar from her husband’s pocket borough of Bangalore South. The party cannot give poll ticket on the basis on DNA and genes, he had said. Though the move had ruffled the feathers of a section of the state leaders, BJP candidate Tejasvi Surya easily won from the seat. The BJP also improved its show in the general election in southern states like Telangana and Karnataka but could not make much headway in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. As organisational elections in the BJP are due in the coming months and speculation rife that Shah, who is also the home minister, may relinquish his party post, Santosh’s role will be crucial in steering the organisation through these changes ,while keeping it battle-ready for the assembly elections ahead. Santosh’s predecessor Ramlal was moved back to the RSS after holding the position for over 13 years. The post of general secretary (organisation) is always kept by a leader with the RSS background as it allows the Hindutva organisation to have an important say in its affairs while allowing him to serve as a bridge between the BJP and its ideological parent.
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