A day after BJP’s longest serving general secretary (organisation) Ramlal was reinstated with the RSS, party’s national president Amit Shah named joint general secretary (organisation) B.L. Santosh to succeed Ramlal. Speculation is rife within the BJP that the leadership focus on the southern states also played a key role behind Santosh’s elevation.
The organisatioal secretary post in the BJP, including in its state units, is held by an RSS pracharak, who acts as a bridge between the organisation and the Sangh Parivar. Hailing from Karnataka, Santosh’s organisational skills are said to be as astute as one of party’s former national general secretary (organisation), Sanjay Joshi.
An RSS man, Santosh was deputed to the BJP in 2006 and had played a key in role in BJP’s organisational growth in many states, also including southern states and Goa. In a statement issued, the BJP said that Santosh will assume his new responsibility with immediate effect.
In 2014, Santosh was brought in the central team when he was appointed as one of the four joint generals secretaries assisting Ramlal. He was given the charge of southern states.
The BJP’s decision to field a new face, Tejaswi Surya from Bangalore South parliamentary seat instead of its late leader Ananth Kumar’s wife Tejaswini, was also said to be strongly supported by Santosh. Sources disclosed the decision to field Surya was party leadership’s unwillingness to “turn a seat into a family bastion.”
As organisational elections in the BJP are due in the coming months, Santosh’s role will be crucial in steering the organisation through these changes ,while keeping it battle-ready for the assembly elections ahead.