Adityanath’s Delhi visit sparks speculation of UP cabinet expansion

Mr. Adityanath’s aides insist that the visit was with regard to the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic.

Just a few days after BJP national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh’s visit to Lucknow for political and organizational stocktaking, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s arrival in Delhi for a two-day visit — with an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and meetings with Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda — has set off a flutter over a possible cabinet expansion in Lucknow .

Meanwhile, Mr. Nadda’s one-on-one meeting on June 10 evening with Mr. Modi set off speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle at the Center too.

While Mr. Adityanath’s aides insisted that the visit was with regard to the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic, and raising the demand for a larger allocation of vaccines against the disease to the State, they admitted that “after all that happened last week, of course political issues were and will be discussed”.

Mr. Santosh’s report to Mr. Nadda was detailed about the work culture in Mr. Adityanath’s office, the correctives that were to be immediately required, which included being more accommodative of party allies in the State, in the run up to the 2022 Assembly polls. The performance of the BJP in the recently concluded panchayat polls in the State, where it came second to the Samajwadi Party was also underlined as a worrying situation.

In fact, Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel also met Mr. Shah just after Mr. Adityanath’s meeting with the latter. Ms. Patel has been an ally of the BJP since 2014 both in the Lok Sabha and Assembly. After the breakup of the alliance between the BJP and the Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, the Apna Dal is the main ally still with the BJP. Mr. Rajbhar’s party is likely to go with Samajwadi Party in the Assembly polls.

Sources confirmed that these were not long-standing appointments and the request for time from Mr. Adityanath’s office was made only on June 9 morning, after which the appointments were expedited.


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