By appointing Yeddyurappa, a prominent lingayat face, the party decided to bank on its old warhorse in Karnataka. He was earlier forced to resign as chief minister over graft allegations and quit the party to form his own outfit.

Yeddyurappa, who is Lok Sabha member from Shimoga, returned to BJP ahead of 2014 general election.

In Uttar Pradesh, the party decided to field an OBC face as the party gears up for the crucial polls next year. Maurya has been associated with RSS since early years. While Uttar Pradesh is slated to go to polls in early 2017, elections are due in Karnataka before May 2018.

Announcing the appointments, BJP general secretary Arun Singh also named Union Minister Vijay Sampla, MLA K Laxman and former MP Tapir Gao as the new party chiefs for Punjab, Telangana and Arunachal Pradesh units.

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