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SHAH'S SILENT ENFORCER

For a man said to have controlled the BJP with an iron hand when he was party president, Amit Shah proved surprisingly reluctant to bring in his own team to help him reorganise and rebuild the party into the election-winning machine it is today.

Uday Mahurkar

He stuck with most of the top party functionaries left behind by his predecessor Rajnath Singh. Now that he is in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet—in probably the most vital and visible post given Modi’s predilection for foreign affairs—Shah might, ironically, be effecting the changes to the party’s organisation that many thought he would as president.

The first step was the appointment last week of 53-year-old party stalwart B.L. Santhosh as the new national general secretary (organisation), replacing Ramlal, 66, who returns to the RSS after 13 years in the post. He had served the party well under various presidents, including Shah, but, say party insiders, he was considered too soft by both Shah and the prime minister, too willing to tolerate ideological and disciplinary infractions by party leaders.

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July 29, 2019

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