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Mahajan, Jaitley named special BJP emissaries

March 07, 2004 02:13 IST

With the stakes high in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP on Saturday gave the 'special task' of coordinating the party's strategy in the state to its senior leader Pramod Mahajan and named him along with Arun Jaitley as special emissaries to talk to alliance partners in case of problems.

Announcing this, party president M Venkaiah Naidu told a press conference that senior leader Rajnath Singh will be the coordinator for Bihar, Jaitley for Karnataka and vice-president Pyarelal Khandelwal for Orissa.

General Secretary Sanjay Joshi will coordinate on organisational issues at the headquarters and would assist Naidu during the elections.

The decision was taken at a meeting of top BJP leaders at the residence of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday morning.

Describing reports of a purported internal survey that had predicted a tough fight in Uttar Pradesh for the party as 'wrong', Naidu said the assessment was that the party would 'improve drastically' in UP, Karnataka and Assam.

Karnataka, where simultaneous assembly polls are being held, was likely to see the first BJP government in the southern states, he said.

In Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the party would gain 'marginally' and improve its tally in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.

Naidu said Mahajan and Jaitley would assist state BJP units in forging state-level alliances and solving problems, if any, with allies.

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