As it prepares for assembly elections slated early next year, the ruling BJP Wednesday announced that Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been appointed the party’s poll in-charge of Uttar Pradesh while Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi is going to oversee election preparations in Uttarakhand. Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat has been assigned Punjab, where the BJP is under fire over the three contentious farm laws. Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav is poll in-charge of Manipur.
The BJP is in power in all these poll-bound states except in Punjab, where its oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal quit the NDA over the farm laws, saying they were not in the interest of farmers.
In Uttar Pradesh, where winning the assembly is crucial for the BJP for return to power in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Pradhan will be assisted 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.
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.