Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appointed union ministers as in-charges for forthcoming Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar has been made in-charge of the Rajya Sabha elections in Rajasthan and Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has been given charge of Haryana. Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy has been assigned Karnataka and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw will oversee the party's election effort in Maharashtra.
BJP has been upping the ante in its efforts to gain more seats in these four states in the biennial elections to the upper house to be held on June 10.
BJP has fielded 22 candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls. The party has put up two candidates each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. BJP has released a list of three candidates from Maharashtra including Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and is hoping to win the third seat.
In Karnataka, the party has put up three candidates to win the third seat amid perceived differences between Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) alliance.
In Rajasthan and Haryana, two media barons have entered the fray making the contest tougher for the Congress which has fielded four candidates from two states.
Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Zee group, is all set to contest for Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan as a BJP-backed independent candidate. Kartikeya Sharma, managing director of ITV Network, is set to contest the Rajya Sabha elections from Haryana and his entry could complicate matters for Congress candidate Ajay Maken.
There are 13 independent candidates in the state assembly who are supporting the Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan government.
Gujarat-based Bharatiya Tribal Party formed by Chhotubhai Vasava has two members in the assembly in Rajasthan. In Haryana, Jannayak Janata Party leader Ajay Singh Chautala said that all 10 Members of the Legislative Assembly(MLAs) of the party will support independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma for the Rajya Sabha seat.
Tripura will go to the polls in the next year. The party has chosen to send national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, Assam Urban Development Minister Ashok Singhal and Jayanta Malla Baruah who is political secretary to the Assam chief minister for the by-polls.
Kailash Vijayvargiya was in-charge of BJP's poll effort in West Bengal where the party improved its performance in the assembly polls but failed to dislodge the Trinamool Congress. This is Kailash Vijayvargiya's first major assignment after the Bengal polls.
The election for the four assembly seats in Tripura is scheduled to take place on June 23. The by-election in the Agartala seat was necessitated after former minister Sudip Roy Barman resigned from the BJP to join the Congress in January this year.
The by-polls are taking place about eight months before the next assembly election in Tripura and will be a litmus test for Manik Saha who replaced Biplab Deb as the chief minister recently.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)