By elevating Ganesan, BJP hopes to strengthen State unit

L. Ganesan

L. Ganesan  

T. Ramakrishnan

He is the only person from the south in the new set of vice-presidents

CHENNAI: The appointment of L. Ganesan as a vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party is seen by party circles here as part of the central leadership's strategy of strengthening the State unit. He was a national secretary for the last four years. The sixty-year-old Ganesan is the only person from the south in the new set of vice-presidents, after Rajnath Singh became the national president. Till now, M. Venkaiah Naidu was one of the vice-presidents.

The appointment comes at a time when the BJP is planning to face the electorate for the first time since 1998 without the support of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Mr. Ganesan, who enjoys the backing of the Sangh Parivar, is the second person from Tamil Nadu to hold the post.

The first one was Jana Krishnamurthy. (For about a year during 2001-02, Mr. Jana Krishnamurthy was the national president).

In recent years, Mr. Naidu, who hails from Andhra Pradesh and represents Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha, has been the most visible representative of the south at the national level.

General secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar of Karnataka is another leader from the south who enjoys national stature.

Noting that O. Rajagopal, one of the senior most leaders of the party who hails from Kerala has been dropped from the national executive, many party leaders say that by making Mr. Ganesan a vice-president, the central leadership has recognised him as an important leader from the south, who can be counted upon for playing a greater role in the region. However, Mr. Ganesan plays down all this talk and says he wants to devote all his energy and time to building the organisation. "I would like to be an institution man," is his constant refrain.

As national secretary, he was looking after the party affairs in Kerala. Asked whether any portfolio has been assigned to him, he says that it may be decided at a meeting of the office-bearers shortly.

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