- This is his first meeting with top leaders since UP BJP turnmoil began
- Yogi Adityanath’s meeting with PM, JP Nadda likely tomorrow
- His visit comes a day after Congress’s Jitin Prasada joined the BJP
Yogi Adityanath is in Delhi for meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah amid reports of dissent in Uttar Pradesh. This is his first face-time with the Delhi leadership since turmoil started in the UP BJP last month, with a section flagging criticism of the Yogi Adityanath government’s handling of Covid and the impact it may have on the party in polls next year.
The Chief Minister will be in Delhi for two days. He is likely to meet with Amit Shah today and PM Modi and Mr Nadda tomorrow.
The visit comes a day after the BJP scored a high-profile recruit from the Congress, Jitin Prasada, a top Brahmin face in UP.
Mr Prasada is expected to play a key role in the BJP’s UP reset ahead of the state election, especially in correcting the optics of a government perceived by a section of the state’s Brahmins as being pro-Thakur (Yogi Adityanath’s caste).
With the elections less than a year away, many MPs and MLAs have gone public with their adverse assessment of their own government’s Covid management.
Last week, senior BJP leader BK Santosh led a central mission to Uttar Pradesh to take feedback and carry out a review in meetings with ministers, MLAs, MPs and the Chief Minister too. A senior leader of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Dattatreya Hosbole, had recommended the feedback session after reportedly sensing disenchantment in the cadre during his visit.
The BJP has shut down any talk of replacing Yogi Adityanath. He will lead the party in the UP polls but other changes are likely, sources have said.
The Chief Minister is expected to bring in new ministers in his cabinet with caste and regional equations in mind, the sources say.
Another significant addition to the UP government could be former bureaucrat AK Sharma, known to be among PM Modi’s trusted aides.
Yogi Adityanath’s talks with central leaders are likely to focus on this exercise.
The BJP is eager to minimize the damage done to its government in UP, which was seen to be caught unprepared by the deadly second surge of Covid. Visuals of bodies floating in the Ganga river or buried in shallow graves caused shock and anger. The party’s MLAs and MPs also went public with their complaints against their own government.