BJP Appoints Gadkari As Goa Poll Chief


New Delhi: BJP national president has Amit Shah appointed Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari as election in-charge for assembly polls in Goa, where elections are due early next year along with Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Punjab and Manipur.

Appointment of Gadkari on Wednesday holds significance as he played a crucial role in pacifying a section of the RSS, which was opposing the BJP government in Goa for funding Catholic institutions in the state. The state unit of RSS had demanded discontinuation of funding to some 70-80 Catholic educational institutions.

However, Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar and defence minister Manohar Parrikar held the view that discontinuation of funds could lead to political uproar, although they decided no fresh funding to educational institutions in the state. A major section of the Catholic followers had voted for the saffron party. Reports suggest that Gadkari, who is known for his links with RSS, played a crucial role in persuading the RSS leaders.

Gadkari’s appointment points to early preparations for assembly polls as BJP seems set to nominate poll heads in other states including Uttar Pradesh. In another important decision, Shah nominated Singhbhum Lok Sabha MP Laxman Giluwa as president of the Jharkhand unit of the party after Tala Marandi’s resignation. Marandi had resigned on August 11 after controversy erupted over the team he had announced.

Several party leaders including youth wing came out in the open seeking resignation of Marandi. Giluwa is a prominent tribal leader from Singhbhum region and is known for his good rapport with CM Raghubar Das.