Kamal Sharma all set to lead Punjab BJP

Chandigarh, Jan. 15 -- A 44-year-old staunch activist of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), Kamal Sharma is set to be president of the Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Sources said Tuesday's election is a mere formality as Kamal has been chosen to take over from Pathankot MLA Ashwani Sharma, who has already completed his three-year term. Kamal, a graduate, has been political adviser to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal since June.

Steeped in Sangh ideology since the early '80s, his breakthrough came when he became all-India secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the BJP's student wing. By 2004, he had grown to become a media adviser with the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a

central government institution.

For a year since 2006, Kamal, a native of Punjab's border district Ferozepur, worked as media adviser with the BJP CM of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan; and in 2007 he became general secretary of the BJP in Punjab.

Ashwani, on his part, may get an even better role for making the party overcome anti-incumbency and bag 12 seats in last year's assembly polls in which the SAD-BJP won a historic second consecutive term, sources said.

At Tuesday's election of the state BJP president, ministers, MLAs, state BJP affairs in-charge Shanta Kumar and Rajya Sabha member JP Nadda would be present.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.