The BJP on Friday appointed Lok Sabha MP Nayab Singh Saini, belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC), its Haryana unit president in place of Om Prakash Dhankar as the party prepares for the Lok Sabha elections next year to be followed by the state assembly polls.
A party communication said Mr Dhankar, a Jat, has been appointed a national secretary of the party.
The appointment of Mr Saini, 53, a first-time MP representing Kurukshetra in the Lok Sabha, may help the party strengthen its hold among the OBC community as the support of Jats, who are the most populous community in the state, is largely seen to be divided among the Congress, Jannayak Janta Party and the Indian National Lok Dal.
The BJP is already in alliance with the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), whose leader Dushyant Chautala is the state’s deputy chief minister.
Mr Dhankar was appointed Haryana BJP chief in July 2020 and completed his tenure in July this year.
Mr Saini, who has been campaigning in Rajasthan, is considered a confidant of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. He was also a minister in the previous Khattar cabinet and was a legislator when he fought the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.
In 2019, the BJP had won all 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana. with party candidates winning with massive margins.
“Congratulations to Nayab Singh Saini for the responsibility of state president”, the outgoing state unit chief Dhankar posted on X.
Shortly before the BJP central leadership appointed the new state unit chief, Mr Dhankar was asked by reporters in Chandigarh on Friday whether a change could be expected since his term as state unit chief had come to an end in July.
Replying to this, Mr Dhankar said change is a natural process in a national party like the BJP and referred to recent appointments in the party’s Punjab and Chandigarh unit.
No one is permanent here, Mr Dhankar, who is also a former Haryana minister, said.
A BJP worker is always prepared to take up any responsibility and role given to him, he said.
This is not a family-based party. It is a national party in which change from booth unit incharge to national president is a natural process, he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)