New Delhi: In a move that is being seen as Narendra Modi's clout growing within the BJP, the party president Rajnath Singh appointed the Gujarat Chief Minister's aide Amit Shah as general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh for 2014 elections.
The indications are loud and clear as Uttar Pradesh with 80 Lok Sabha seats will be critical to the BJP's preparations for 2014 elections. The BJP in its prime has won as many as 57 seats out of 85 in undivided Uttar Pradesh, but since nineties the party's fortunes have dwindled with each passing Lok Sabha polls. With its tally now reduced to mere ten, UP will be the focus state for the party.
"Modi did not suggest any name. I have taken the decision to induct Amit Shah because of his skills," Rajnath said.
While Varun Gandhi has been made in-charge of West Bengal, in states where the BJP could scout for potential allies Rajnath has deputed political light weights.
Chandan Mitra has been given the responsibility of Odisha, where BJD is in power. In Tamil Nadu, where AIADMK is in power, Murlidhar Rao has been made the in-charge. Former MP president Prabhat Jha has been made in-charge in AP where both Jagan and TSR are potential allies. Where as in Jharkhand, where Babulal Marandi is another potential ally, former UP president Ramapati Ram Tripathi will manage party affairs. Maharashtra has been allocated to Rajiv Pratap Rudy, while Thawar Chand Gehlot has been given Karnataka.
This time though no former president or a leader of Opposition has been given state specific responsibility, with the team in place from here onwards Rajnath will have to decide whether to form a campaign committee or not. And what role Narendra Modi would officially have in the BJP's scheme of things for the next general elections.