Bengaluru, Feb 4: The BJP on Saturday appointed Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan its in-charge for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls, a party statement said.
Tamil Nadu BJP unit president K Annamalai, who had earlier served as a police officer in Karnataka, will be the co-in charge for the high-stakes polls where both the ruling party and the opposition Congress have launched intensive public outreach for the elections likely to be held in April-May.
Pradhan, a seasoned organisation man of the party, has been tasked with handling several elections in the past, including the last year's Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in which the BJP retained power by a big margin.
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 skillful 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 Yediyurappa 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.
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