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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Ministers turn poll managers

Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand are due for polls between October and December and the BJP is desperately targeting to win at least two of them to counter the impression that the ruling party’s dominance is taking a dip

J.P. Yadav New Delhi Published 18.06.24, 06:59 AM
G Kishan Reddy and Himanta Biswa Sarma.

G Kishan Reddy and Himanta Biswa Sarma. PTI photo

The BJP on Monday appointed key ministers as election-in-charges for Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir.

The Supreme Court has set a deadline of September 30 to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Assembly elections will be held for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 and the splitting up of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories.

Since then, the Opposition has been clamouring for full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir and the conduct of elections to install a popular government. The appointment of a key minister as poll-in-charge by the ruling party came as an indication that elections could finally be held and pave the way for restoration of statehood in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling.

While campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls in the Union Territory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised that statehood would be restored soon.

G. Kishan Reddy, the newly appointed coal and mines minister, was named the election-in-charge for Jammu and Kashmir by BJP president J.P. Nadda.

For Maharashtra, a state where the BJP’s performance in the Lok Sabha polls was pathetic compared to 2019, two senior ministers — environment minister Bhupendra Yadav and railways and information & broadcasting minister Ashwini Vaishnaw — were appointed as election-in-charges. The BJP rules Maharashtra indirectly with ally Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde as chief minister. The state is scheduled to go to polls in October.

For BJP-ruled Haryana, where the party managed to win just five seats, education minister Dharmendra Pradhan along with former Tripura chief minister Biplab Ded have been put in charge.

For the Opposition-ruled Jharkhand, two heavyweight leaders, newly appointed agriculture minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (as co-in-charge), have been deployed.

All three states are due for polls between October and December and the BJP is desperately targeting to win at least two of them to counter the impression that the ruling party’s dominance is taking a dip.

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