New Delhi: Leaving behind the disappointment of losses in three Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is getting battle-ready for the 2019 general election. BJP president Amit Shah today released the names of leaders who would be in charge of the Lok Sabha election campaign in five of more states and three other union territories.

The five states whose election heads were named today are Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Haryana. The three union territories that got the election heads are Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry and the national capital of Delhi.

Union railways minister Piyush Goyal and BJP MLA from Karnataka CET Ravi are the election heads for Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and the Andamans.

Karnataka got P Muralidhar Rao, quite predictably, as its election head with Kiran Maheshwari who will be assisting him.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP leader Jai Bhan Singh will be concentrating on the national capital. Sitharaman had been given the task to head the communication and strategy team of BJP’s Delhi unit during the Assembly election held in the city-state in 2015. 

Today’s list

Kalraj Mishra, who had been marginalised after the Uttar Pradesh election, has been asked to head the election team in Haryana where the BJP is relatively in a much more comfortable situation. Vishwas Sarang will be his deputy. 

The crucial state of Jammu and Kashmir where the BJP is exploring a new political equation has been given to Avinash Rai Khanna. Khanna will head the election team in Tripura as well. The BJP swept to power in this north-eastern state last year, bringing an end to decades-long CPI(M)-led left front rule.

The most interesting announcement today was that of the sudden inclusion Union health minister JP Nadda as the election in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, a state whose poll heads had already been announced in the first leg. Earlier, on December 26, 2018, the BJP had released its first list of election heads for 18 states wherein Uttar Pradesh had got three leaders to chalk out the election strategy.

Apart from Dushyant Gautam and Narottam Mishra, the name that had topped the list for Uttar Pradesh was Gordhan Zadafia. The inclusion of Zadafia, an old hand of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and a known Modi baiter, had surprised many within the BJP fold. Today, the addition of Nadda in the election team for Uttar Pradesh has further set the rumour mills rolling.