BJP names state in-charges, Anil Antony for Meghalaya, Nagaland

BJP names state in-charges, Anil Antony for Meghalaya, Nagaland

New Delhi: Ahead of four crucial assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has retained its in-charges in Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir, while it’s yet to appoint anyone for Maharashtra. 

BJP president J.P. Nadda issued a list of in-charges and co-in-charges for 24 states and Union territories Friday. No in-charges have been changed in any major state. Apart from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Telangana were left out of the list.  

One of the few notable changes is the appointment of Anil Antony, a Christian leader, as in-charge of the two Christian-dominated states of Nagaland and Meghalaya, replacing Chouba Singh and Nalin Kohli. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had suffered setbacks in both states in the Lok Sabha elections, and Antony’s appointment has been made keeping in view the disquiet among Christians in the two states over the ethnic violence in Manipur, it is learnt. 

Former Union minister V. Muraleedharan has been appointed co-in-charge of the northeast — replacing party national secretary Rituraj Sinha — with MP and national spokesperson Sambit Patra remaining in-charge. Raghunath Kulkarni has been elevated to in-charge of the Andaman and Nicobar islands from co-in-charge, replacing Satya Kumar. 

In Dadra and Nagar Haveli, former co-in-charge Dushyant Patel has been made in-charge, replacing Purnesh Modi. Nalin Kumar Kateel has been replaced as Kerala co-in-charge by Aparajita Sarangi. 

Rajasthan has had no state in-charge since Arun Singh was removed from the post. Dinesh Sharma was appointed election in-charge of Maharashtra, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe of Rajasthan, Mangal Pandey of West Bengal and Baijayant Panda of Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls.

A senior BJP leader told ThePrint: “Only a few in-charges have been changed. In election-bound states, most have been retained to maintain continuity and synergy between the state and central governments.”

Separately from the state in-charges, the party had announced election in-charges for the poll-bound states and UT last month: Union ministers Bhupender Yadav and Ashwini Vaishnaw as in-charge and co-in-charge for Maharashtra, Dharmendra Pradhan and former Tripura CM Biplab Deb for Haryana, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma for Jharkhand, and G. Kishan Reddy for Jammu and Kashmir.

The party had not appointed any election in-charge for Maharashtra in January when it issued a list ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

In-charges retained

Satish Poonia, the former Rajasthan BJP president, has been retained as Haryana in-charge, with Gurjar leader and Rajya Sabha MP Surendra Nagar as his co-in-charge. Rajya Sabha MP Laxmikant Bajpai will remain in-charge of Jharkhand, while in Jammu and Kashmir, Tarun Chugh has been retained as in-charge with Ashis Sood as his co-in charge.

Vinod Tawde will continue as in-charge of Bihar, with Rajya Sabha MP and former Jharkhand unit chief Deepak Prakash as co-in-charge. UP MLC Mahendra Singh will continue to look after Madhya Pradesh with Satish Upadhyay.

Vijaypal Singh Tomar, the party’s Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, will continue as in-charge in Odisha, while Chhattisgarh MLA Lata Usendi will be the co-in-charge.

Nirmala Kumar Surana will continue as in-charge of Puducherry, while Bihar MLC Dilip Jaiswal has been appointed in-charge of Sikkim.

Similarly Shrikant Sharma, a former UP minister and Mathura MLA, has been retained as in-charge of Himachal with Sanjay Tandon as co-incharge.  

Senior leader and former Union minister Prakash Javadekar will remain in-charge of Kerala. Former Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has been reappointed in-charge of Punjab, with additional charge of Chandigarh. 

Also read: Lack of support from MLAs, ministers & DMs led to setback in LS polls in UP, finds BJP task force


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