New Delhi : The BJP leadership on Saturday patted its back for constituting a separate OBC Morcha at the national level. A party statement termed the move as a ‘commendable effort by the BJP president to give the ideology of social harmony tangible shape’.
However, a cursory look at the team of office bearers shows that the claims of ‘social harmony’ are more cosmetic than substantial. For the first time in its history the party has not appointed a general secretary from the Scheduled Caste category.
This despite the fact that the BJP has the highest number of SC MPs in this Lok Sabha. Social engineering has become crucial with the BJP fighting for high stakes in the forthcoming Bihar and then UP polls.
In the central office bearers’ team, vice president Avinash Rai Khanna from Punjab is the only Dalit in the team besides a spokesman Bizay Sonkar Shastri. It is a fact known to all that decision making and crucial organisational matters are always the responsibility of general secretaries. ‘Ever since its formation the BJP has always had a Dalit in the general secretary team. As per the constitution, two posts of general secretaries are still lying vacant. We hope the fact would be kept in mind’, remarked a Dalit leader from UP.
Like the SC category, women also have been complaining about their poor representation in the central team. Former president Rajnath Singh had amended the BJP constitution with much fanfare to make at least 33 percent of representation of women mandatory in the organisation. The present team of office bearers however falls vastly short of the promise. Of the thirty eight central office-bearers, only five are women which is less than fifteen percent of the total strength.
A senior office-bearer and woman leader who has been raising the issue with the leadership for long hoped that the shortfall would be made up soon as some posts are still vacant. A murmur of discontent has also started over the appointment of SP Singh Baghel as chief of the newly formed OBC Morcha. Baghel, once a Mulayam Singh loyalist, joined the BJP just before the Lok Sabha elections. OBC members from UP are pointing that the position should have rightfully gone to leaders who have been serving the organisation for decades.
Ram Madhav gets Assam, J&K
After much speculation about the role of former RSS leader and high-profile general secretary Ram Madhav, BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday formalised his appointment as co-ordinator for J&K. Ram Madhav has also been appointed election in charge for Assam along with central minister Dharmendra Pradhan.