Former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis is set to play a key role in his party's preparation for the Bihar assembly polls, a significant development that comes amid some disquiet in the saffron alliance in the state.
BJP sources said Fadnavis has been roped in by the party leadership for the poll preparedness and had recently attended a Bihar core committee meeting of the party.
"He has already begun his work and will play an active role. A formal announcement regarding his responsibility may be made later by party president J P Nadda," a BJP source said.
The development also comes at a time when Bihar and Maharashtra governments have been trading charges over the handling of the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case by the Mumbai Police.
The matter has taken on an emotive dimension in Bihar, the home state of the actor.
Fadnavis has been heading the BJP's attack on the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government, accusing it of mishandling the case and pushing for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe.
In Bihar, two BJP allies, Chirag Paswan-headed Lok Janshakti Party and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United, have been at loggerheads in the state.
The LJP has conveyed to the BJP leadership, the sources said, its uneasiness about the manner in which the issues raised by it have been dealt with.
Chirag Paswan had recently met Nadda and spoken about a host of issues, they said.
The BJP has been playing a balancing role between its two partners.
It has already announced that Kumar will be the National Democratic Alliance's chief ministerial candidate.
BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav has so far been the main pointsman of the party for Bihar affairs. He is also the BJP in-charge for the state.
Party sources said Fadnavis may be made the Bihar election in-charge once the Election Commission announces the schedule.
The BJP has a practice of entrusting its key leaders with the responsibility of handling state elections.
Yadav was the party's in-charge for Maharashtra assembly polls last year.
Late BJP leader Ananth Kumar was the party's in-charge for the Bihar assembly polls in 2015.