Swatantra Dev Singh is new UP BJP chief



 Uttar Pradesh Minister for Transport Swatantra Dev Singh has been appointed the Bharatiya Janata Party's state president, replacing Union Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey.

Pandey, who was also earlier the deputy chief minister, was inducted in the Union Cabinet, necessitating a change of guard in the state.

Singh, 54, has been the OBC face of the party in the state and is known for his organisational skills.

A Kurmi by caste, his appointment is being seen as a move by the BJP to woo the Kurmis, who are one of the influential backward castes in the state.

The party's effort is to consolidate its support among the OBCs, who strongly backed the BJP in the state Assembly and the Lok Sabha polls. IANS