NEW DELHI: In a clear hint that the NDA government has slipped into an election mode, the BJP chief Amit Shah has drafted eight Union Ministers, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, to oversee the election management in the upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh.
Jaitley, as the election in-charge of Gujarat, will lead a team of four other Union ministers to spearhead the BJP campaign in the state where the party has set the target of winning more than 150 Assembly seats in a House of 182. The team Jaitley will consist of Union Ministers – Narendra Singh Tomar, Jeetendra Singh, P P Choudhary and Nirmala Sitharaman, which will be in-charge of the Assembly election campaign of the saffron outfit.
A week after launching an unprecedented campaign to stop the Congress strategist Ahmed Patel to stop returning back to the Rajya Sabha, though unsuccessful, the top heavy team of election in-charge in Union Ministers is being seen as an indication that Shah is not leaving any stone unturned to win Gujarat polls slated later this year hands down.
Union Minister for Human Resources and Development Prakash Javdekar will be the election in-charge for Karnataka, which is heading for state Assembly elections early next year. He will be assisted by Union Minister Piyush Goyal. Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot has been entrusted the charge of Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.
The BJP chief has been meeting scores of union ministers this month at the party headquarters in the national capital, which has also led to speculation running rife that a few of them may be drafted into the party in the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle with an eye on the state Assembly elections and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. On Thursday, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore attended a strategy meeting called by the party chief, which was also attended by all the office bearers of the party.