Bajpai’s state team has four BJP stalwarts’

Ten months after taking charge as state BJP president, Laxmikant Bajpai on Saturday declared his state team that comprises four persons who are sons or daughters of party's senior leaders.

Pankaj Singh who is son of party national president Rajnath Singh will continue as general secretary in the new team. Pankaj was general secretary for one year in the previous team and his position in the new team was expected after Rajnath become party's national chief recently. Pankaj was state secretary in the team of former state president Surya Pratap Shahi. But he was elevated to general secretary in middle of 2012 Assembly elections. His elevation had triggered controversy when three state secretaries had resigned from their posts alleging nepotism in the party.

Rajvir Singh, son of former chief minister Kalyan Singh has been given the position of vice-president. Rajvir was national president of Jan Kranti Party, formed by Kalyan Singh. Kalyan has returned to BJP and he merged the party into BJP on January 21. Rajvir had contested the Assembly election in 2012 on Debai seat but faced defeat.

Gopal Tandon, who was secretary in the previous team, has been elevated to vice-president in the new team. Gopal is son of Lucknow MP Lalji Tandon and he had lost Assembly election in 2012 from Lucknow North seat as BJP candidate.

Another such case is of Nilima Katiyar, who is daughter of former MLA Premlata Katiyar. Nilima is state secretary in the new team. Her mother Premlata was general secretary in the previous team and she has not been given any place in the new team. Premlata has been MLA from Kalyanpur seat of Kanpur for six times in the past and she had lost the seat in 2012 Assembly elections.

Party state president Laxmikant Bajpai said that all the members in the new state team have been working for BJP from more than 10 years. "Pankaj Singh has been in the party for around 13 years and he has actively worked during Assembly elections, local body elections and other party activities. Rajveer had been in BJP earlier and contested election. Gopal is also a committed worker while Nilima has been working in the party's women wing for at least 15 years," Bajpai said.

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