New Delhi: Gordhan Zadaphia, the leader from Gujarat who was once a strong critic of  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has been made the Uttar Pradesh election in-charge by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, expressed gratitude for the position offered.

Zadaphia said, “Touched by responsibility given by PM to me. I have worked with him for almost 3 decades. What happened earlier is past, I had merged my party again in BJP in 2014 realising personal egos should be kept aside for sake of the nation.”

Ahead of the Lok Sab Sabha Elections 2019, Zadaphia has been appointed by Shah to prepare for the national election due by May. Zadaphia, who quit the party and contested against it before his return in 2014 is among the 17 new states in-charges announced.

Zadaphia, who was the minister of state for home in Gujarat during the 2002 riots, faced allegations of not doing enough to check the three-day communal violence in which at least 1,000 people were brutally killed. Following that, he was dropped by then Chief Minister Modi and thereafter he became his vocal critic. (Also Read: Assembly Election Results Not in BJP’s Favour, But Cannot be Linked With 2019 Lok Sabha Polls: Amit Shah)

In 2007, he formed his own party and contested against the BJP. Later, he joined hands with Keshubhai Patel and merged his party in the former chief minister’s party.

Apart from Zadaphia, Union minister Prakash Javadekar retains charge of Rajasthan. Another minister, Thawarchand Gehlot, has been named for Uttarakhand. Two more leaders – Dushyant Gautam and Narottam Mishra – will be in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, the state with 80 parliamentary seats.

Bhupender Yadav and Anil Jain have been assigned Bihar and Chhattisgarh, according to a BJP statement. V Muraleedharan and Deodhar Rao are in charge of Andhra Pradesh. Mahendra Singh and OP Mathur have been given charge of Assam and Gujarat.

The BJP has also appointed in-charges and co-incharges for several other states, including Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Punjab, Telangana and Sikkim among others.

The BJP has also appointed in-charges and co-incharges for several other states, including Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Punjab, Telangana and Sikkim among others. Party president Amit Shah appointed his trustworthy and experienced hands for the key states in which the BJP is fighting a fierce battle to retain dominance.