Yogi Adityanath meets PM Modi amid friction in UP BJP
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter's residence in Delhi. The meeting comes amid growing murmurs about a possible leadership change and a cabinet reshuffle in UP, where Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been losing face. On Thursday, Adityanath had met Union Home Minister and former BJP chief Amit Shah in Delhi.
Adityanath, who is in Delhi on a two-day visit, met Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg to apprise him about the political situation in UP, IANS reported. Sources told the news agency that Adityanath will also address possible changes in UP in the coming days. He will also meet BJP chief JP Nadda to discuss the political situation and a possible cabinet expansion/reshuffle.
Adityanath met Shah on Thursday and the two reportedly discussed the political situation ahead of the UP Assembly elections early next year. During the 90-minute-long meeting—where former Union Minister and Apna Dal chief Anupriya Patel was also present—they also discussed the BJP's performance in recent panchayat polls. It was decided that the party will focus on electing its members as 'Zila Panchayat Adhyaksh'.
With a few months left before UP goes to poll, the BJP has stepped up measures to address dissatisfaction with the party. The ruling BJP drew criticism from all corners, even from its own MLAs and MPs, for its COVID-19 response in the state. The party had also underperformed in the recent panchayat polls, seen as the "semi-final" before the Assembly elections.
Last week, senior BJP leader BK Santosh led a mission to gather feedback and conduct a review of the situation in UP. He spoke to MLAs, MPs, and the CM. Dattatreya Hosbole—a senior leader of BJP's ideological parents Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)—had recommended the feedback session after sensing disaffection with the administration. The CM's inaccessibility was notably another issue in the state.
This week, Congress leader Jitin Prasada joined the BJP in a splendid addition to the saffron party. Reportedly, the 47-year-old leader, who is a popular Brahmin face, is to play a key role in the UP reshuffle. Rumors say that former bureaucrat AK Sharma, a close aide of PM Modi, may also be given an important role in the UP government.