Disgraced ex-BJP chief Bangaru Laxman has made a comeback in the party's new team as election in-charge of Tamil Nadu while Varun Gandhi and Vinay Katiyar have been appointed in the same capacity for Assam and West Bengal.
The much-awaited list of BJP in-charges of various states and party cells was declared today, seven months after Nitin Gadkari took over as president.
While Ananth Kumar, appointed general secretary in-charge of Bihar earlier, has been given charge of Madhya Pradesh as well, Gadkari has not appointed any election in-charge for the poll-bound state for Uttar Pradesh which goes to polls in 2012.
Laxman, who was in oblivion since he was caught on camera accepting cash in a sting operation, has been given charge of Tamil Nadu to send across a message that BJP is wooing the Dalit voters as part of Gadkari's strategy to increase BJP's votebank by 10 per cent, party sources said.
Former Uttarakhand chief minister B C Khanduri, who has also been in the shadows for some months now, will be overall in-charge of Tamil Nadu. Varun Gandhi's appointment as election in-charge of Assam indicates that the BJP is looking at polarisation of votes, especially in lower Assam in view of large-scale illegal migration from Bangladesh.
The BJP has often alleged that these people have got citizenship over the years and changed the demographic profile of the state.
Varun, who was in the news during 2009 Lok Sabha polls for his hate speech against the minorities, may also sway votes of labourers who have migrated from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to Assam and settled there.
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari will be election in-charge of Jharkhand where the party feels polls may be held any time due to political instability.
However, many were surprised at the appointment of party vice-president Vinay Katiyar as poll in-charge of West Bengal. Interestingly, the overall charge of the state has been given to Rajya Sabha member Chandan Mitra. Polls are due in the state next year.