Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan appointed Karnataka Election In-charge
Union Minister for Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan has been appointed as the in-charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections by May 2023.
Tamil Nadu BJP state president Annamalai will be co-in charge. Party president JP Natta gave the nominations on Saturday.
The BJP will struggle to retain power in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, where the Congress is trying to turn the outcome of the recently concluded Bharat Jodo Yatra in its favour.
According to leaders familiar with the matter, the BJP has set a target of winning 150 of the 224 seats. The party has also rejected a pre-poll alliance with the secular Janata Dal (JDS).
Pradhan, who was earlier in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, won praise from the BJP leadership for leading the party to victory in the state when the organization was marred by intra-party factionalism. He will be tasked with setting the electoral narrative in Karnataka, where the party has lurched from one controversy to another.
The government has been in the headlines for its move to ban the hijab in educational institutions, calls for a ban on halal products and the use of loudspeakers from places of worship.
To quell opposition to the regime, the BJP leadership replaced party stalwart BS Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister in July 2021. The Lingayat community represented by Yeddyurappa did not like the decision. While the BJP is trying to pacify the Lingayats, the dominant caste group in the state, it insists it wants to strengthen its position over the Vokkalika and kurba communities, particularly in the old Mysore region.
The BJP ruled the state between 2013 and 2018 and emerged as the single largest party in 2018. However, the Congress and JDS alliance formed the government. The BJP returned to power in the state in 2019 after the resignation and resignation of 18 legislators.
“In UP, Pradhan served as a bridge between the state and central leadership. He also had the important task of choosing the right candidates without upsetting the caste balance and integration among different groups,” said a party functionary.
In the past, Pradhan has overseen elections in Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Jharkhand and Telangana.