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Rajnath Singh gives Jaitley charge of UP
May 29, 2007 17:51 IST
In an overhaul of his party management in states, on Tuesday, Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh removed general secretary Arun Jaitley as in-charge of Punjab, despite the recent electoral success there, and gave him Uttar Pradesh, where the party suffered a crushing defeat.
The Sangh-backed party president, who in January had dropped Jaitley as BJP spokesman, also replaced media convenor Siddharth Nath Singh, believed to be close to the former Union law minister, with Nalin Kohli, an aide of senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu.
Hailed as the architect of the BJP's unprecedented rise to power in Punjab, where the party has won 19 of the 21 seats it fought in the February elections, Jaitley replaces party veteran Kalyan Singh as in charge of Uttar Pradesh, where the saffron tally has come down to 50 seats in the Assembly.
Rajnath Singh has posted former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma as in charge of Punjab and Chandigarh after withdrawing him from Himachal Pradesh.
He also pulled out Jaitley as in charge of Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.
The BJP chief, who has dropped Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from the key parliamentary board, retained party leader Om Mathur as in charge of that state.
In another surprise move, Singh replaced senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra as 'prabhari' of Delhi, where the party tasted victory in the recent municipal elections, with Thawar Chand Gehlot.
He gave Bihar's charge to veteran Kalraj Mishra, replacing him with Maharashtra leader Gopinath Munde in Rajasthan.