Bihar polls keep Dharmendra Pradhan busy

Vol 19, PW 2 (24 Sep 15) People & Policy

Any oil industry executives hoping to raise important questions with oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan can forget it for the next month.

Pradhan is completely pre-occupied with the forthcoming Bihar elections as Narendra Modi counts on him to deliver the BJP a resounding victory and silence present Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, an outspoken critic of the Modi regime. Make no mistake, Pradhan’s oil ministry obligations are on the back-burner at least till November 5, the last day of Bihar’s five-phase election beginning October 12.

“A Bihar win for the BJP will greatly enhance Pradhan’s stature in the party,” a BJP source tells us. This will also pave the way for Pradhan to fulfil his long cherished ambition of becoming the chief ministerial candidate in his home state Orissa in 2019.

“But a defeat will mess up all his plans,” another BJP source tells us. BJP president Amit Shah has put together a three-member core-team to lead its campaigning efforts in Bihar.

Besides Pradhan, also on the team are BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav and joint party general secretary Saudan Singh. “Pradhan knows he has to deliver,” says another senior BJP source.

“Bihar is an important state for Modi.” Pradhan along with his cabinet colleague Ananth Kumar will supervise four other BJP cadres chosen by Amit Shah to coordinate efforts in Bihar.

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