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Jaitley, Javadekar to be in-charge of polls in Gujarat, Karnataka

Party confident of retaining power in home state of PM Narendra Modi

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Arun Jaitley

Union ministers and were on Thursday appointed the BJP's election in-charge for the high-stakes Gujarat and Karnataka respectively.

chief also appointed four other Union ministers-- Narendra Singh Tomar, Nirmala Sitharaman, Jitendra Singh and P P Choudhary-- co-in-charge for the Gujarat polls, scheduled to be held later this year, a party statement said.

Union minister Piyush Goyal will be co-in-charge for the Karnataka polls, slated for early next year, it said.

Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot has been appointed the election in-charge for the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls, also scheduled for later this year.

Jaitley and Javadekar have been the party's in-charge for various state polls in the past. Gehlot is also a veteran organisation man.

The last in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat were held during the month of November and December in 2012, respectively. The results were announced on December 20, 2012.

The last Karnataka were held in May 2013.

The is in a direct contest with the in all the three states. While the saffron party is in power in Gujarat, its bastion for over two decades, the opposition party rules in the other two states.

Since it stormed to power at the Centre in 2014, the has edged past the in the polls in states where the latter was its main challenger. The defeated the in Punjab, but the BJP was a junior partner in the state.

In Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is leading the Congress charge against the BJP, which has made it clear that its state president and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa will be its chief ministerial face. Siddaramaiah has expressed confidence that he will retain power.

The BJP is confident of retaining power in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister and Shah.

In the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh where the BJP has not projected any chief ministerial candidate yet, a keen battle is expected between the two parties, with Chief Minister leading the Congress campaign.

First Published: Thu, August 24 2017. 23:28 IST