Former bureaucrat AK Sharma, known to be among Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s close aides, has been made the BJP’s vice president in Uttar Pradesh, where assembly elections will be held next year.
For weeks, there had been speculation that Mr Sharma, MLC and former Indian Administrative Service officer, would be made a minister in UP. He was sent to PM Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi earlier this year to oversee the fight against COVID-19.
Talk of Mr Sharma’s possible elevation to ministership in UP started after speculation that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath may be in trouble over his government’s handling of the pandemic. The BJP has ruled out any change in UP’s leadership.