Former BJP president Rajnath Singh was on Sunday officially entrusted with the task of overseeing the party’s preparations for next year's Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. By doing so, party chief Nitin Gadkari virtually made it clear that Singh — who is considered close to the RSS — will head the party’s election management in the two states.
With this move, the BJP has sent out a signal that it would not have any truck with the BSP in the future, for Singh has been consistently opposed to Mayawati and even protested the decision to ally with her party in the past. Despite its repeated assertions to the contrary, there was a perception that the BJP could enter into some electoral arrangement with the BSP next year.
A statement issued by the party said Gadkari has asked Singh to pay “special attention” to election related matters in UP and Uttarakhand.
In Uttarakhand, he will be assisted by general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan.
Sources said the party felt a leader of Singh’s stature was needed to take on heavyweights like Mayawati, SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi. Besides, Singh according to the sources, has emerged as the most popular face of the BJP in UP after A B Vajpayee in internal surveys conducted by the party.