BJP forms 17 groups for Lok Sabha polls, Rajnath Singh to head manifesto committee


File Photo of Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

File Photo of Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Senior BJP leader and Union minister Rajnath Singh will head the party’s “sankalp patra” (manifesto) committee and his cabinet colleague Arun Jaitley its publicity wing for the Lok Sabha polls as its president Amit Shah Sunday announced formation of 17 groups in preparation for the elections.

Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Thavarchand Gehlot, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, K J Alphons and Kiren Rijiju, and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shiraj Singh Chouhan are the other members of the 20-person committee tasked with preparing the party’s manifesto, a statement said.

Finance Minister Jaitley will also be a member of this committee with Home Minister Singh at its helm.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari will head a 17-member committee to reach out to social and volunteer organisations while his cabinet colleague Sushma Swaraj will preside over a group that will produce literature for the polls, it added.

Both Singh and Gadkari are former BJP presidents.

Prasad will head the party’s media group while Union minister Prakash Javadekar will lead the wing which will organise meetings of intellectuals.

The Lok Sabha polls are expected to be held in April-May with the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a re-election.

A committee will deal with “pravas” (tour) of party leaders, another with social media while a third group, whose 13 members include party general secretary Saroj Pandey, will reach out to beneficiaries of various government schemes, the statement said.

BJP vice president Shyam Jaju and its information technology wing in-charge Amit Malviya are in the 13-member social media committee.

The eight-member publicity wing members include Union ministers Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Mahesh Sharma, party general secretary Anil Jain, its Rajya Sabha MP and businessman Rajeev Chandrasekhar besides Goyal.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar deputy chief ministers- Keshav Prasad Maurya and Sushil Modi- party general secretaries Bhupender Yadav and Ram Madhav, former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane, former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda are among the other members of the manifesto committee.

All party’s national spokespersons, which include its media head Anil Baluni and his deputy Sanjay Mayukh, will be part of its media committee to be headed by Prasad.

Shah also announced committees to deal with transportation, distribution of literature, Mann ki Baat, a monthly radio broadcast by the prime minister, and bike rally.

Part general secretary Arun Singh will look after the ‘Mann ki Baat’ committee and also the one tasked with spearheading the office works.

Yadav will be a key member of the committee which will deal with matters related to the Election Commission.

In the run up to the elections, Shah has made a host of appointments, including of in-charges and their associates for different states, to spearhead the party’s campaign.