The BJP is in power four of the five poll-bound states, except Punjab where its traditional ally Shiromani Akali Dal had quit the NDA over the farm laws.
With the assembly polls in five states less than six months away, the BJP on Wednesday appointed Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan as the party’s election in-charge of Uttar Pradesh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi as the in-charge of Uttarakhand.
Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has been assigned Punjab, where the BJP is at the receiving end of the farmers’ protests against three farm laws. Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav will be in charge of Manipur.
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The BJP is in power in four of the five poll-bound states, except Punjab where its traditional ally Shiromani Akali Dal had quit the NDA over the farm laws.
In Uttar Pradesh, Pradhan will be assisted by by Union Ministers Anurag Singh Thakur, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Sobha Karandlaje, Annapoorna Devi, former Haryana state minister Capt Abhimanyu, senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Saroj Pande and Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Thakur. The BJP is eyeing a second straight term in the state which plays a crucial role in deciding the central leadership in Delhi.
In Uttarakhand, Joshi will be assisted by Lok Sabha MP Locket Chatterjee and party spokesperson R P Singh. The appointment of Pushkar Singh Dhami as the chief minister is the third leadership change in this term of the BJP.
Bhupender Yadav, who had managed the BJP’s campaign and election works in a number of key states like Gujarat and Bihar among others, will be assisted by Union Ministers Pratima Bhaumik and Assam Minister Ashok Singhal in Manipur
Shekhawat will get a helping hand from Union Ministers Hardip Puri, Meenakshi Lekhi and Lok Sabha MP Vinod Chawda for managing the election preparations in Punjab.
The party is in power in UP, Uttarakhand and Manipur and has deployed its well-oiled election machinery to retain power there. While its main challengers in Uttar Pradesh are Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party with the Congress trying hard to shore up its base, the BJP is in direct contest with the Congress in Uttarakhand and Manipur.
The BJP has not named its election minders for Goa, another state which will go the polls along with these four states early next year.