Chandigarh: It is a mix of old and new guards in the Punjab BJP’s new team of office-bearers announced by party state president Sunil Jakhar on Sunday.
While preference has been given to the leaders originally belonging to the saffron fold coming from Hindu-dominated areas, there are 22 leaders out of the total 67 office-holders, who have come from other parties, namely Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
List of 22 leaders of BJP's new team
The 12 vice-presidents include four former Congress leaders –Balbir Sidhu, Gurpreet Kangar (both former Congress ministers) and Arvind Khanna and Fatehjung Bajwa (both former Congress MLAs). Former SAD leader Jagdeep Singh Nikai has also been named as vice president in the new list.
The seven remaining posts of vice-presidents have the home-grown leaders. They are Rajesh Bagha, Dr Subhash Sharma, K D Bhandari, Dr Surjit Kumar Jyani, Mona Jaiswal, Bikramjit Cheema and Jasmine Sandhawalia.
The new list names five leaders as general secretaries, four of whom are homegrown leaders of the saffron party; they are Anil Sareen, Rakesh Rathore, Dyal Singh Sodhi and former IAS officer Jagmohan Raju. Among the new appointees as general secretaries, Parminder Singh Brar is former Youth Akali Dal leader who had worked as officer on special duty (OSD) with former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal.
Likewise, there are nine home grown leaders among the total 12 secretaries named in the list. They are – Sanjeev Khanna, Renu Kashyap, Dr Shivraj Chaudhary, Renu Thapar, Bhanu Partap Singh, Meenu Sethi, Durgesh Sharma, Vandna Sangwan and Rakesh Sharma. The remaining three appointees as secretaries are – former Congress MLA Dr Harjot Kamal, former Congress leader Daman Thind Bajwa and Akali patriarch late Gurcharan Singh Tohra’s grandson Karanveer Singh Tohra.
Notably, Jai Inder Kaur, daughter of former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, has been appointed as the chief of the women's wing of the party.
21-member core party leaders
Former senior Congress leaders including Capt Amarinder Singh, Manpreet Badal, Raj Kumar Verka and Kewal Singh Dhillon and former SAD leaders Avinash Chandar and Charanjit Atwal, are in the 21-member core group of the party which also has former state DGPs S S Virk and P S Gill in it.
Other members of the core group are Jakhar, Vijay Sampla, Ashwani Sharma, Avinash Rai Khanna, Harjit Grewal, Jeevan Gupta, Rana Gurmeet Sodhi, Tikshan Sood, Jangi Lal Mahajan, Amarjot Kaur Ramoowalia, Dinesh Babbu, Manoranjan Kalia and Union minister Som Parkash.