In a major development, the Bhartiya Janata Party appointed Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan its in-charge for the upcoming Karnataka assembly polls. Besides, BJP leader and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has been appointed as election co-in charge for the Karnataka elections 2023.
According to a party statement released on Saturday, Tamil Nadu BJP unit president K Annamalai will be the co-in charge for the high-stakes polls. Notably, both the ruling party and the opposition Congress have launched intensive public outreach for the elections likely to be held in April-May.
The Union Minister, who is often touted as a "seasoned" organisation man of the Saffron party, had handled elections of several key states including the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, held earlier last year. Under his mentorship, the party had retained power by a significant margin.
Pradhan has an excellent track record
A former party general secretary, he has been involved in assembly polls in Bihar, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and also in Karnataka in 2013. He was also in charge of the Assam and the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls in 2015 and 2018 respectively.
A skilful politician, he will be expected to mobilise the organisation in Karnataka while sorting out internal issues in the local unit to maximise the party's efforts to retain power in the important southern state. Karnataka is the only southern state where the BJP has ever run a government.
The party had opted for a leadership transition in the state by easing out the then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and bringing in Basavaraj Bommai, a Lingayat like the veteran leader, in his place in July 2018.
Despite his loss of power, Yediyurappa's stature vis-a-vis his successor's low-key style has meant that the former's shadow continues to loom large. He was recently appointed a member of the party's Parliamentary Board, its apex organisation body, with the central leadership working to keep him in good humour.
(With inputs from PTI)
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