New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday arrived in New Delhi where he met Union home minister Amit Shah at his residence and is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief JP Nadda, on Friday. His visit to the national capital assumes significance as the politically crucial state of UP is going to polls early next year.
Earlier this month, BJP’s general secretary BL Santhosh had visited the state to review the party’s preparations for assembly elections due next year.
While Adityanath’s meeting with Amit Shah comes a day after ex-Congress leader, Jitin Prasada, joined the BJP – once again exposed the former party’s deep crisis – ahead of the next year’s assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Joining the BJP in the presence of Union minister Piyush Goyal and its chief spokesperson Anil Baluni, Prasada told reporters that “if there was any political party in the country today that worked in an institutional way… if there was truly any national party in the country, then it was the Bharatiya Janata Party”.
UP CM’s visit also comes in the backdrop of growing murmurs in the organisation regarding the handling of the Covid second surge, with several BJP ministers and MLAs going public about the leadership being irresponsive to the people’s woes. These claims have coincided with the BJP’s underperformance in the recent panchayat polls, which the party had talked up as a semi-final before the Assembly elections in UP next year. These have also led to speculation about a possible reshuffle in the state Cabinet.
On Sunday, BJP’s UP in-charge Radha Mohan Singh had refuted talks of a possible change in the chief ministership and the state BJP leadership. He had also denied reports of possible expansion of the state Cabinet and said though there are vacant posts in the cabinet, it is CM Adityanath’s prerogative to fill them as and when he likes to.
Singh also refuted reports of an alleged rift between PM Modi and Adityanath, describing the CM as the most “competent person” to fulfil the PM’s dream. “If you look at newspapers, you will see that Modi-ji was the first to greet Yogi-Ji (on his birthday). In fact, we are of the view that Yogi-ji is the most competent person to fulfil the dreams of Modi-ji,” Singh had said.
“Jahan tak sarkar aur sangathan ka sawaal hai, desh mein sabse majboot sangathan Uttar pradesh mein BJP ki hai. Aur sabse jyada lokpriya sarkar Uttar Pradesh ki sarkar hai (As far as state organization and the government is concerned, the UP unit of the BJP is the strongest in the country and the Uttar Pradesh government is the most popular,” Singh had told mediapersons, calling reports of likely changes in the party or the government leadership in UP as a “figment of imagination”.
Last week, senior BJP leadership, including the party’s national general secretary BL Santosh and Singh, held meetings with party leaders as well CM Adityanath in the state. They also held one-to-one meetings with ministers, fuelling speculation of a possible leadership could change in Uttar Pradesh.