Barely seven months have left for the Uttar Pradesh to go for assembly polls and in the meantime Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), the party in the saddle is going through its biggest political turmoil. On the surface it seems the warring factions have agreed for a ceasefire but still resentment is brewing among legislators as well as party leaders who are not feeling at ease with the chief minister.
The parent organisation of BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) as well as the central leaders have held several rounds of meetings with almost all the stakeholders in the last one week. Both Sangh, as well as the central BJP leaders, have almost reached to a conclusion that it would be fatal to make any major change in the state government as well as the party organisation. However, the big question remains unanswered as to what are the plans.
According to BJP insiders the Sangh and central leaders have decided to go in the next assembly polls with Yogi Adityanath as chief minister and present state president Swatantra Dev Singh. However, looking at the unrest among leaders, legislators and workers there could be reshuffle in the state cabinet in the coming days. Inducting few new faces and removing the deadwoods would be the strategy of the party which has made up its mind to contest the coming assembly polls on the Hindutva plank.
While a large number of party leaders and legislators as well as workers had been complaining since long about the arrogant behaviour of top brass and uncontrolled bureaucracy, the recent failure in taming second wave of Covid added fuel to it. It may be mentioned that in 2019 over 100 legislators belonging to the ruling BJP had staged a dharna inside assembly accusing their own government of not pay attention to the problems faced by them.
The Bengal Connection:
The recent tussle for power in U.P. began with the results of Bengal elections where BJP despite all claims faced a major setback. Soon after May 2nd, the day results were announced in Bengal, more and more legislators started complaining about the functioning of U.P. government by writing letter to the chief minister and making them public. The once bitten twice shy BJP high command swung into action and senior party leaders as well as Sangh functionaries started crisis management. The BJP leaders feel that after debacle in Bengal it would be very important for them to win U.P. again otherwise it would be difficult for them to retain Delhi in coming years.
Sangh and Central leaders took feedback:
Both BJP central leaders including organisation in charge BL Santosh and U.P. in charge Radha Mohan Singh rushed to Lucknow and remained for three days holding meetings with the ministers and state leaders taking feedback. These leaders tried their level best to douse the fire and convince that it would not be better to make any major change with assembly polls just round the corner. The central leaders after holding meetings in Lucknow went back to Delhi to brief the situation before the party top brasses.
Cabinet reshuffle and inclusion of Arvind Sharma:
As per the plans of BJP, there could be a cabinet reshuffle in U.P. in coming days in which new faces will get berth. Arvind Sharma, close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former bureaucrat who took VRS to become active in politics may be inducted in the cabinet. Sharma took VRS in January this year as secretary in union government and a week after he became member of legislative council in U.P. Ever since then rumours were on the rife about his becoming minister in Yogi cabinet but it could not be materialised as the chief minister developed a cold feet on the proposal. Now it seems an agreement has been reached in this regard.
According to party leaders around 10 new ministers may be sworn in while few may be shown doors on the basis of performance. There will be no change in state chief of the party who belong to backward caste that is important for the poll dynamics of U.P.