Special Correspondent

NAGPUR: Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley will not contest the Lok Sabha polls as they have been given responsibilities related to election management. Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani made this announcement at the very end of the party’s three-day conclave.

Earlier, it was known that Sushma Swaraj will contest from a seat in Madhya Pradesh, most likely Bhopal. Mr. Naidu, Mr. Jaitley and Ms. Swaraj are now members of the Rajya Sabha.

Mr. Naidu will make all the election-related arrangements for Andhra Pradesh (he is also chairman of the party’s campaign committee) and he has been given the overall responsibility of the entire southern zone. Mr. Jaitley has been asked to look after Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh. He has other responsibilities as well related to working out seat sharing with several allies.

Ms. Swaraj will be in charge of the elections in M.P., Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and Ananth Kumar will look after Madhya Pradesh (along with Ms. Swaraj) and Karnataka. Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana have been put under the charge of Shanta Kumar and Bhagat Singh Koshiari, while Narendra Modi will take care of the western sector comprising Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

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