The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP move to crank up party

New Delhi, March 14: The BJP’s constitution is likely to be amended at the Indore national executive to bring about two major changes: increasing the number of central office-bearers and partially reversing the process of organisational elections.

The proposed changes are meant to rev up the organisation before the next Assembly and Lok Sabha elections and to check factionalism, party sources said.

Sources said an attempt would be made to appoint state unit presidents “unanimously” before elections to posts lower down in the hierarchy.

The procedure followed so far entailed the constitution of units at the panchayat, taluka and district levels before the election of state presidents by members. Functionaries of these units were then elected by electoral colleges comprising primary members.

If the proposed amendment is carried out, it will virtually give the state president the right of way in constituting his team, not just that of office-bearers but ones comprising functionaries at every rung.

Sources said the proposed change would not subvert the spirit of democracy and decentralisation that characterises the BJP’s organisational election. “It will check rampant groupism and infighting,” they added.

The debacle in Himachal Pradesh seems to have prompted the BJP to contemplate such an amendment. The state’s BJP unit was divided into factions loyal to either Union minister Shanta Kumar or former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

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