With mere months left for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, much has been written about the BJP's plan of action. And while BJP national vice-president Radha Mohan Singh insists that there is no "rift" between Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the rumours refuse to die down.
A day after the BJP leader's meeting with Governor Anandiben Patel, Opposition political leaders as well as ordinary netizens remain convinced that something is afoot. Over the last few hours, several netizens have flagged the BJP Uttar Pradesh Twitter handle as well as campaign posters, contending that Prime Minister Modi was conspicuous in his absence from the same.
Others still referenced senior BJP leader LK Advani to contend that the Prime Minister was being relegated to the backseat. "Pictures of Modi taken down by BJP UP Unit. Yogi turning Modi into Advani," read one tweet, sharing a screengrab of the state BJP handle.
Archived versions of this handle however show that this is not a recent change. A quick perusal of the available pages on the Wayback Machine website show that this had been the poster even in November 2020.
Many contend that the Central administration is concerned by the Uttar Pradesh government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, with several individuals from the party's own ranks being vocal in their criticism. Adding fuel to the speculation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 5th failed to tweet out his birthday wishes for the Chief Minister. And while reports quoted sources to say that the two had spoken via telephone, the rumour persists.
Speaking to the media on Sunday, Singh, the party's in-charge in UP rubbished claims of a dispute, describing Adityanath as the most "competent person" to fulfil PM Modi's dream. "If you look at newspapers, you will see that Modi Ji was the first to greet Yogij Ji (on birthday). In fact, we are of the view that Yogi Ji is the most competent person to fulfil the dreams of Modi Ji," he said.
The BJP vice president also discounted reports on likely changes in the party or the government leadership in UP. He also shot down theories about an imminent Cabinet reshuffle or expansion.
Opposition leaders including those from the AAP and the Congress have however continue to point to the omission of Prime Minister Modi from posters and other party communiques as being evidence of a growing rift.
As per a recent IANS report, the party is looking to steer the narrative back to Hindutva, national pride and development. The party is also reportedly looking into cadre mobilisation and redressal of their complaints. With the elections still more than six months away, the party will wait for the second COVID-19 wave to subside and then gradually, but firmly, shift the focus back to the emotive issues such as the Ram Temple.
The Ram Temple in Ayodhya will be projected as one of the biggest achievements of the BJP and Yogi Adityanath's 'massive' development plan for the holy city, serving as the proverbial icing on the cake. According to party sources, BJP workers will continue to harp on the slogan "Ayodhya toh sirf jhanki hai, Kashi, Mathura baaki hai" (Ayodhya is a mere teaser, Kashi and Mathura are still left).
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