Amit Shah holds marathon meeting with Yogi Adityanath, Dalit MPs and UP allies
The meeting comes in the wake of BJP’s Dalit leaders and allies voicing their dissent over the alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act.india Updated: Apr 12, 2018 07:30 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah held a marathon meeting with chief minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior leaders at the CM’s official residence in Lucknow on Wednesday to discuss various issues.
The meeting began in the afternoon and ended late in the evening, people familiar with the matter said.
After jointly offering garlands at the statue of Dalit social reformer Jyotiba Phule at Samata Mulak crossing, Shah and Adityanath drove straight to the chief minister’s 5-Kalidas Marg residence around 1.30pm. There, they held a prolonged one-on-one meeting over lunch, people familiar with the matter said.
Shah took feedback on various issues, including grievances of the allies — the Apna Dal and the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party —as well as some Dalit MPs’ complaints, they said.
Deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, and BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey also joined the meeting around 3pm.
The upcoming Vidhan Parishad elections and a possible cabinet expansion to give more representation to OBCs and the Supreme Court (SC) order on the SC/ST Act were also discussed during the meeting, among other issues, those privy to the discussion indicated.
Later, Apna Dal and SBSP leaders were also given an audience separately.
Apna Dal and SBSP leaders told Shah there was resentment among their party workers as state government officers did not listen to them.
Apna Dal president Ashish Singh said he demanded that the CM meet his party workers every fortnight to resolve their issues.
“We also demanded that either DM or SP in each district must belong to the other backward classes (OBCs),” he said.
Cabinet minister and SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, who had been sulking for long, said he had told Shah he was unhappy over his party workers being ignored. He added he had also demanded land for his party office in Lucknow.
He said he was satisfied after the meeting.
Shah’s UP visit took place at a time when the Yogi Adityanath government is confronted with problems and challenges from various quarters. After the BJP’s defeat in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls, the government is facing dissent not only from the allies but also from its own Dalit MPs.
It has also drawn flak from the opposition over the Unnao incident, in which a party MLA has been accused of raping a woman.