New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday appointed OBC leader Swatantra Dev Singh and Maratha leader Chandrakant Patil as the president of its Uttar Pradesh and poll-bound Maharashtra units, respectively. Both leaders have a RSS background and are well-regarded in the party for their organisational ability. Singh replaces Mahendra Nath Pandey and Chandrakant Patil comes in the place of Raosaheb Danve Patil. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us Both Pandey and Raosaheb Danve Patil were inducted as ministers in the Union Cabinet, necessitating a change of guard in the states. Singh is a minister in the UP government and Kurmi by caste, a numerically strong backward group in Uttar Pradesh. Other Backward Classes (OBC) have consolidated behind the BJP in good numbers, playing a crucial role in its massive victory in the 2017 Assembly poll as well as the recent Lok Sabha election. Chandrakant Patil’s appointment in Maharashtra comes as the BJP is gearing up to retain power in the western state in the Assembly polls due later this year. Also Read – CBI carrying out surprise checks at 150 government departments Advertise With Us He is a Maratha, the largest caste in the state. He is credited for playing a key role in assuaging the community following its long protests demanding quota in government jobs and educational institutions. Chandrakant Patil hails from western Maharashtra, a prosperous region of the state which was once a strong turf of the opposition. The BJP has made strong inroads in this sugar belt of the state. He holds the PWD ministry in the state government. Both Singh and Chandrakant Patil are likely to resign as ministers to focus on their new assignments. Advertise With Us In a statement, the party also announced the appointment of Mangal Prabhat Lodha as its Mumbai unit chief, replacing Ashish Shelar, who was recently inducted in the BJP government in Maharashtra. He is also the founder of Lodha group, a real estate firm. The party is likely to announce its new chiefs in states like Bihar as well. Its Bihar unit chief Nityanad Rai has also been inducted as a Union minister.