The BJP on Tuesday appointed Sunil Jakhar as its Punjab president, replacing Ashwani Sharma. A three-time MLA and one-time MP, Jakhar, a Hindu face, had joined BJP in May last year and was inducted into its national executive in December last year.
Apart from Jakhar, the BJP also announced new party presidents for the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand on Tuesday as part of its organisational restructuring.
A former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Jakhar had quit Congress to join BJP after the 2022 Punjab polls.
That he was central to the BJP’s plans in Punjab was obvious when he was chosen to be part of a five-member committee constituted to conduct an inquiry into the violence during the party’s Nabanna march in Kolkata last year before he was inducted into the BJP national executive. This was the first major assignment for Jakhar, the only party leader from Punjab on the committee.
Jakhar’s father, the late Balram Jakhar, was a staunch Gandhi family loyalist. The longest-serving Lok Sabha Speaker, Balram Jakhar had also served as Madhya Pradesh governor.