BJP appoints Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan poll in-charge for Karnataka
New Delhi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's crucial visit to poll-bound Karnataka on Monday, the battle lines were redrawn on Saturday, with the BJP appointing Union HRD minister Dharmendra Pradhan as the state election in-charge and Tamil Nadu BJP unit president K. Annamalai as the co-in-charge. This will be the Prime Minister's seventh visit to the state. Mr Modi, along with Karnataka chief minister Basavraj Bommai, will be inaugurating a number of development and job-oriented projects.
In this high-stakes poll-bound state, the Prime Minister will launch E20, a blend of 20 per cent ethanol with petrol. He will inaugurate the India Energy Week (IEW) 2023 aimed at showcasing the country's "rising prowess as an energy transition powerhouse" and dedicate Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's (HAL) greenfield helicopter production facility to the nation.
As the BJP high command has put all its resources into winning the Karnataka Assembly polls, the chief minister targeted the Congress, saying that "fear of defeat is now haunting the Congress" in the state.
While the BJP seemed to be confident that the party led by Mr Bommai "will break the jinx and return to power", senior party leader B.S. Yediyurappa indicated that the party "stands united" and urged the workers to spread the programmes of the state and the Central governments door-to-door. Claiming that the Assembly polls are likely to be held before April 10, the veteran leader said that "under the leadership of Mr Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, there is no doubt that the BJP will win all the upcoming elections, including that in Karnataka."
In addition to other electorates, Mr Bommai has also focused on gaining the support of women, youths and SC&STs. It may be recalled that both Mr Bommai and Mr Yediyurappa have joined forces to make the party return to power. The state government has also focused on rural Karnataka and indicated that special priority will be given to the farmers in the forthcoming state budget.
Meanwhile, the party appeared to be "upbeat" following the appointment of Mr Pradhan as the Karnataka poll in-charge. The BJP leaders in the state talked about Mr Pradhan's "skilful handling" of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, which the party won by decimating the Opposition.
As for the Prime Minister, who will be launching multiple projects, he will also participate in the Green Mobility Rally. The PM will flag off efforts to create public awareness for green fuels.
Mr Modi will also lay the foundation stones for the Tumakuru industrial township and two Jal Jeevan Mission projects in Tumakuru. An official statement also stated that the Prime Minister will also launch eco-friendly uniforms made by recycling around 28 used PET (recyclable plastic) bottles under the "Unbottled" initiative of Indian Oil. He will also unveil the twin-cooktop model of the PSU's indoor solar cooking system, a "revolutionary" cooking solution that works on both solar and auxiliary energy.
The IEW will be held in Bengaluru from February 6–8. This will attempt to bring together leaders from the traditional and non-traditional energy industries, governments, and academia to discuss the challenges and opportunities that a responsible energy transition presents. Over 30 ministers, 30,000 delegates and 1,000 exhibitors are expected to participate from across the world.