BJP announces election management teams for poll-bound states; five union ministers to steer preparations in Uttar Pradesh

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New Delhi [India], September 8 (ANI): Gearing up for assembly elections in five states early next year including in crucial Uttar Pradesh, Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday announced the names of election in-charges and co in-charges.

The party has given the responsibility for Uttar Pradesh elections to Union Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

He succeeds senior leaders like Om Mathur, Union Home minister Amit Shah, J P Nadda and late Arun Jaitley in the role of election in-charge of Uttar Pradesh.

Pradhan has been election in-charge of Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka and was co in-charge during Bihar polls. In West Bengal elections held earlier this year, Pradhan was given charge of the Nandigram constituency where BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

With vast and populous Uttar Pradesh having 403 assembly seats, Pradhan will be assisted by Union Ministers Anurag Thakur, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Shobha Karandlaje and Annapurna Devi besides Rajya Sabha MPs Saroj Pandey and Vivek Thakur and former Haryana minister Captain Abhimanyu.

Not just seven co- in charges, the party has also appointed in-charges for six 'prants'.

Karnal MP Sanjay Bhatia will supervise Western UP, Braj region will be looked after by Bihar MLA Sanjeev Chaurasia, National Secretary Y Satya Kumar will oversee Awadh, Sudhir Gupta will be in-charge of Kanpur, Arvind Menon of Gorakhpur and Sunil Ojha will look after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency region Kashi.

In Punjab, BJP has made union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat election in-charge. Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Meenakshi Lekhi and MP Vinod Chavda are co in-charge for the state.

Shekhawat had earlier been given charge of few constituencies in West Bengal. For Shekhawat, getting the BJP to win Punjab or give a strong performance will be a challenge as Shiromani Akali Dal has parted ways with the party over three farm laws.

In Uttarakhand, the party has given responsibility as election in-charge to union minister Pralhad Joshi, who also oversaw elections in Kerala. Joshi will be assisted by Locket Chatterjee, MP from Bengal and RP Singh, a party spokesperson.

Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav has been made in-charge of Manipur. He had been party election in- charge for Bihar polls and had been actively involved Gujarat elections.

Union minister Pratima Bhowmik and Assam minister Ashok Singhal will assist him. Both Bhowmik and Singhal are known faces in the northeastern states.

In Goa, the BJP has decided to make former CM Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis election in-charge. He was co in-charge of elections in Bihar. He will be assisted by union minister G Kishan Reddy and Darshana Jardosh.

The BJP is in power in four of five states that will go to the polls early next year. (ANI)

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