AP Abdullakutty made BJP national vice-president as Nadda announces new team

BJP president JP Nadda announces new team of party office bearers
J P Nadda

The BJP has accomodated two leaders from Kerala, who joined the party after quitting the Congress, in its new team of office-bearers. A P Abdullakutty and Tom Vadakkan are the only leaders from Kerala who have found place in the list of new team announced by party president J P Nadda on Saturday.

While Abdullakutty has been appointed one of the 12 vice-presidents Vadakkan has been made a spokesperson. No other leaders from Kerala have found place in the new list of functionaries. Abdullakutty was made the BJP's state vice president after he joined the saffron party in June last year.

Abdullakutty, 52, who has also been a former member of the ruling CPM, was a Lok Sabha from Kannur. In 2009, the CPM sacked him from the party amid mounting differences and also because he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi''s Gujarat development model when the latter was the Chief Minister of the state.

Abdullakutty won the Kannur Assembly by-election in 2009 as a Congress candidate and repeated his victory in 2011, but in 2016, lost the polls from the Thalassery seat. Since that time, he has been keeping a distance from the Congress, and in June this year, he joined the BJP describing himself as a "nationalist Muslim".

Vadakkan, a former spokesperson of the Congress, joined BJP in March 2019 ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The latest rejig of party office-bearers comes ahead of the Bihar Assembly polls.

Among the notable changes, MP Tejasvi Surya was appointed party's youth wing president, replacing Poonam Mahajan.

Several prominent general secretaries like Ram Madhav, P Muralidhar Rao, Anil Jain and Saroj Pandey were also replaced with new faces.

BJP increased number of national spokespersons to 23 to include new faces like Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. MP Anil Baluni has

been elevated as chief spokesperson and remains media in-charge. In 2015, the BJP fared miserably in Bihar Assembly elections against the Grand Alliance between JD(U), RJD and Congress. However, the party came to power in the state after Nitish Kumar's JD(U) became an ally of the BJP-led NDA following rift with alliance partner RJD.

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