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BL Santosh appointed BJP general secretary (organisation)

bl santosh

The BJP said in a statement that his appointment comes into immediate effect.

NEW DELHI: BL Santhosh, the lowprofile, soft-spoken joint general secretary (organisation) of BJP, was on Sunday promoted as the party’s general secretary (organisation). His hold over southern states, a region where BJP is trying to increase its political footprint, has played a key role in his elevation.

Santhosh, in his early fifties, has pipped several senior contenders to the post. Like his predecessor Ramlal, he may get to play a long innings as the RSS pointsman in BJP if he can keep controversies at bay and follow the dictum that “one holding this post should stay under the radar.” KN Govindacharya and Sanjay Joshi, the two leaders to hold the post, had to part amid controversies.

BJP and RSS sources described Santhosh as a tech-savvy and English-speaking pracharak (both a rarity in the Sangh) who has spent several active years in Bengaluru. He has the reputation of being a decisive leader who promotes youngsters with strong right-wing leanings. Two young MPs, Tejasvi Surya (Bangalore South) and Pratap Simha (Mysore), are his protégé.

Santhosh’s firm stand on several issues and his decisiveness have often led to differences with other leaders within BJP. During the 2018 Karnataka assembly elections, he had rubbed BS Yeddyurappa and other leaders the wrong way. Differences over candidates’ selection and other matters also cropped up but mostly he had his way.

Santhosh has worked in the Mangalore region of Karnataka and caught the eye of seniors in RSS and BJP due to his impressive efforts in areas bordering Kerala. RSS is very strong and active in this region. As general secretary (organisation) of BJP’s Karnataka unit, he was in the thick of polarised politics for eight years.

As joint general secretary (organisation), Santhosh was in charge of four states — Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa. While the next BJP chief JP Nadda is from the north, Santhosh as general secretary (organisation) will take care of the south. He can speak five languages, read and write in Kannada, English and Hindi.

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