March 15, 2016

India: RSS man Hosabale to oversee BJP functioning in the run up to the Assembly election in 2017 in Uttar Pradesh

The Times of India

RSS man Hosabale to hold the reins in UP
Rajiv Srivastava | TNN | Mar 15, 2016, 01.18 AM IST
Lucknow: UP BJP will now have an "observer" to oversee its functioning in the run up to the Assembly election in 2017, with senior RSS functionary Dattatreya Hosabale being asked to shift base to Lucknow.

The RSS' decision to shift it's all-India joint secretary Hosabale to Lucknow comes at a time when the BJP is staring at a challenge to form a government after UP assembly election 2017.

Hosabale, who is based in Patna, is expected to arrive in Lucknow any time after March 20. The all-India joint secretary in the RSS is ranked number three in the hierarchy. According to political observers, decision to shift Dattatreya to Lucknow shows the importance the RSS is giving to Assemkbly election 2017.

Having been a part of ABVP, Dattatreya's UP sojourn is all set to activate BJP's students' wing, said an RSS insider.

He will also be keeping an eye on the other offshoots of the Sangh in UP, he said.

Even though, the UP BJP is yet to get its new state chief despite term of existing chief Laxmikant Bajpai getting over in December, the party might expedite its activities in the state under the watchful eyes of the senior RSS functionary. Before Dattatreya, Suresh Rao Ketkar, who was also of the same rank, had made Lucknow his base decades ago. Before Dattatreya, Madhubhai Kulkarni, who is also a senior RSS functionary, was based in Lucknow. He, unlike Dattatreya, who is in a decision-taking position, was member of the RSS central council.

Political observers say that with results of the Bihar assembly election going against the BJP despite Dattatreya having his base in Patna, it would be interesting to see how his presence in Lucknow shapes up BJP's future in the state.