A day after Congress leader Jitin Prasada joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath met Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Thursday (June 10) afternoon. The meeting, which lasted around ninety minutes, reportedly revolved around the coming Assembly election in the state.
Yogi is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning and later BJP National President J P Nadda. Yogi’s trip to Delhi, the first of its time, followed hectic political activities within the Sangh Parivar over the next year’s Assembly election in five states, most prominently Uttar Pradesh.
Sources said that Yogi may be asked to expand his cabinet and induct former bureaucrat Arvind Kumar Sharma, a Bhumihar, in it. Sharma, who had also served in Gujarat is considered very close to Prime Minister Modi.
Political analysts are interpreting this as a move to clip the wings of Yogi at the fag end of his tenure as CM.
The BJP insiders are arguing that the cabinet expansion is required because of the death of several ministers due to COVID-19 in the last over a year. But this is just an excuse and the real objective is to accommodate Sharma.
The saffron party is a bit jittery in Uttar Pradesh after its devastating defeat in West Bengal, for which the Central leadership is being held responsible, and mishandling of the pandemic in UP by the Yogi government.
However, independent UP watchers are of the view that Yogi, who enjoys the support of a strong section of RSS, may not take the things lying down. He is seeking his own pound of flesh. Yogi is also a bit alarmed over the way Jitin Prasada has been inducted into the BJP by the Central leadership. Jitin, a member of G-23 of the Congress party, was very critical of the Yogi government on the issue of the treatment of Brahmins, his own caste.
Many in the Yogi camp are seeing this as a move to checkmate the UP chief minister and at the same time woo the Brahmins back into the BJP fold.