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Home / Locale / Ashwani Sharma to be new Punjab BJP president

Ashwani Sharma to be new Punjab BJP president

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CHANDIGARH: Bharatiya Janata Party‘s central leadership on Tuesday decided to appoint Ashwani Sharma (55) as the next president of the party’s Punjab unit. He will replace Rajya Sabha MP Shwait Malik, who had been eyeing a second term.
Sharma, a former Pathankot MLA with RSS background, has already served as the Punjab BJP president earlier. He had taken over as the Punjab BJP chief from Rajinder Bhandari in February 2010 and was succeeded after completing his 3-year term by Kamal Sharma in 2013.
“The decision has been taken by party’s central leadership, including Union home minister Amit Shah, party’s working president JP Nadda and general secretary BL Santhosh today,” BJP’s Punjab affairs in-charge Prabhat Jha confirmed.
As the Punjab BJP president, Sharma faces the tough challenge of preparing the party cadre marred by factionalism for the next assembly elections in 2022. It is being speculated BJP might decide to contest without pre-poll alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in 2022.
Jha said the election process will be followed as decided. Nominations for the post will be filed on January 16 at Jalandhar and the final official announcement would be made on January 17.
Sharma was Punjab BJP general secretary
Anil Sarin is election incharge along with BJP national vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and BJP’s national secretary Mahesh Giri as election observers.
Sharma had also served as general secretary of the Punjab BJP unit and was also associated with the BJP youth wing. He had won the 2012 Punjab assembly election from Pathankot by defeating Congress candidate Raman Bhalla by a margin of 17,856 votes and was instrumental in getting district status for Pathankot and a municipal corporation in Pathankot. However, he lost the 2017 assembly poll to Congress candidate Amit Vij by a margin of 11,170 votes.
Others in the race for the post included Punjab BJP vice-president and former Pathankot district president Narinder Parmar, former cabinet minister Manoranjan Kalia, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh and former Jalandhar mayor Rakesh Rathore.

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