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BJP starts work for Gujarat polls; Nadda may be CM face in Himachal

NEW DELHI, March 21, 2017, DHNS: 1:17 IST
 Union Health Minister J P Nadda may be projected as the  party's poll mascot in Himachal Pradesh, PTI photo

Union Health Minister J P Nadda may be projected as the party's poll mascot in Himachal Pradesh, PTI photo

Unwilling to rest on its laurels after victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the BJP has started preparing early for the next electoral battles in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, slated for later this year.

Union Health Minister J P Nadda may be projected as the party’s poll mascot in Himachal Pradesh, in contrast to the party’s strategy of going faceless in UP and Uttarakhand where it cashed in on ‘Brand Modi’.

In Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the party may try out the Sarbananda Sonowal experiment, according to BJP sources.

Sonowal was made the BJP’s Assam unit president while he continued to be the Union sports minister till last May. He became the chief minister of Assam after the BJP won projecting him as their face in the Assembly elections.

To take on Congress Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Himachal Pradesh, the party wants to project an equally tall leader in the contest for the 68-member Assembly.

A decision may be taken after the Parliament session gets over next month, said a BJP leader. Nadda (56) is from Bilaspur district of the state.

In Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah’s own state of Gujarat, the party is keen to improve its current tally of 123 MLAs.

Elections managers have been given a target to win 150 of the 182 seats.

Party’s mission
Hoardings displaying the party’s mission: “UP mein 325, Gujarat mein 150’’ (325 seats in UP, 150 in Gujarat) have already popped up in many cities of the state. To capitalise on the performance of the Modi-led BJP in the recent elections, there is a buzz about advancing the Gujarat elections, otherwise due in December.

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