A two-member team of central BJP leaders will be back in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow, just a week after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath made a trip to Delhi to quell reports of dissent in the state branch and to assure a worried central leadership.
BL Santosh, the BJP’s national general secretary of organization, and Radha Mohan Singh, a former Union Minister, will be on a three-day trip to the state capital from Monday. This will be their second outing in the state – where the BJP faces a critical election next year – in less than two weeks.
The brief is to hold talks on the issues related to the state government and the party. They are also tasked with spreading the government’s message right down to the last person.
After its first review, Mr Santosh gave a thumbs up to the Chief Minister, saying he “effectively managed” the deadlier second Covid wave in the state.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh and Mr Santosh met party boss JP Nadda in Delhi.
Sources say the BJP plans to fill up vacant posts in its UP youth wing and the Mahila unit.
Recently, Jitin Prasada, a prominent Brahmin face, vaulted from the Congress and landed in the BJP. The BJP is hoping that Mr Prasada’s switching over to its camp will help stem the tide of resentment among the Brahmin community ahead of next year’s assembly elections.
The Brahmins, who comprise around 10 per cent of the state’s population, have been ardent BJP supporters since the early ’90s.
Reports from the state indicate resentment among non-Thakurs (Yogi Adityanath belongs to the Thakur caste), particularly Brahmin leaders, who feel their standing has diminished on Yogi Adityanath’s watch.
The saffron-robed Chief Minister is rated as “inaccessible” to MPs and MLAs, and the disenchantment erupted into anger when UP was facing the worst of the second surge of Covid.
However, removing Yogi Adityanath is off the table as the party prepares for the polls in less than a year. That leaves the BJP with the option of course-correcting though changes in the state cabinet and the organization.
The expansion of the Yogi Adityanath cabinet is on hold for now, add sources.
Amid buzz that former bureaucrat AK Sharma, known to be among Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s close aides, will be given an important role in the UP government, BJP sources say there is no such proposal at the moment.
However, sources add that there is an agreement on inducting a Dalit leader from the state when the Modi cabinet is expanded.
To counter the farmers’ movement, sources confirm that there is talk of giving an important role to a Jat leader in the state.
Last month, Ajit Singh, a former union minister who enjoyed an immense following in politically vital Uttar Pradesh, especially its western parts dominated by Jats, died battling Covid.