Karnataka polls: Dharmendra Pradhan named BJP in-charge

A former BJP general secretary, Pradhan was involved in Assembly elections in Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand

Determined to retain power in Karnataka, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday named Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan as its in-charge for the upcoming assembly elections.

A BJP statement said that its Tamil Nadu President K Annamalai would be the co-in-charge in the state where the party faces a formidable challenge from the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).

The elections are most likely to be held in April-May.

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Pradhan, a veteran politician, has been tasked with handling several elections, including in Uttar Pradesh last year which the BJP handsomely won.

A former BJP General Secretary, he was involved in Assembly elections in Bihar, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Karnataka in 2013.

He was also in-charge of the Assam and the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections in 2015 and 2018 respectively.

Pradhan will be expected to sort out the many internal issues plaguing the BJP in Karnataka, the only southern state where the party is in power.

In 2018, internal fissures forced the BJP to replace Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa with Basavaraj Bommai.

(With Agency inputs)