UP CM Yogi Adityanath meets BJP brass amid talk of rejig

Updated on Jun 12, 2021 02:07 AM IST

The meetings came on a day BJP vice-president Mukul Roy switched to the Trinamool Congress and speculation arose that a reshuffle of the Union cabinet was on the cards.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday, and later held discussions with Union home minister Amit Shah and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda.

Adityanath also met Nadda and President Ram Nath Kovind amid speculation of churning in the party’s state unit ahead of assembly elections early next year. “Met honourable PM Narendra Modi today and received his guidance,” Adityanath tweeted after the meeting.

The meetings came on a day BJP vice-president Mukul Roy switched to the Trinamool Congress and speculation arose that a reshuffle of the Union cabinet was on the cards.

The Adityanath-led government has been battling dissension and criticism of its Covid management with both opposition leaders and senior BJP lawmakers attacking the administration. The party also performed poorly in recently held village body elections, finishing behind the Samajwadi Party and failing to win in Modi’s home constituency of Varanasi and state capital Lucknow.

A top party functionary said the state’s Covid response and development projects were discussed.

“There are several development projects such as the Jevar airport and the Purvanchal Expressway that are nearing completion, and the CM wanted to discuss this with the PM. The party’s performance in the recently concluded panchayat elections and the upcoming state elections were also part of the discussions,” said the functionary on condition of anonymity.

The developments came a day after Shah met Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel and Praveen Kumar Nishad of the Nishad Party , both allies of BJP in Uttar Pradesh , triggering speculation that the party leadership wanted to iron out differences. “There is talk of accommodating the allies in the state’s council of ministers. But it all depends on Delhi (the central leadership),” said a second functionary. Apna Dal has nine MLAs while Nishad Party has one.

A third leader said that in his meetings with Adityanath on Thursday, Shah suggested that the UP leadership needed to develop consensus and address concerns of factionalism within the state unit.

“The party has seen two of its oldest allies, Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal ,walk away so the central leadership has called for better ties with the allies. This message was also relayed to the UP CM,” the third person said.

The Sena broke its 35-year-old relationship with BJP in 2019 after disagreement over the Maharashtra chief minister’s position and the Akali Dal walked out of the National Democratic Alliance last year over the three controversial farm bills.

In Delhi, Modi’s meeting with Nadda and Shah, which came soon after his meeting with Adityanath, was meant to take stock of the government’s progress and next year’s state elections, said a fourth person aware of developments. HT learns that all union ministers have been asked by the Prime Minister’s Office to prepare presentations on the work accomplished by their ministries in the past two years. They have also been asked to give an account of key schemes that account for the bulk of their budget or schemes that offer direct benefits to the people.

“After Corona, there has been an economic slowdown and so many schemes that required more funding have not been able to get the extra allocation. The review exercise will take into account the schemes that require additional funds; and assess which of social schemes can be expanded further or tweaked,” this person added.

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