Former BJP national general secretary Sanjay Joshi is becoming an active face in UP politics by associating himself with the Swachh Bharat campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
After taking part in such a cleanliness drive organised in a Dalit habitat here earlier this month, Joshi is now visiting various districts — including Muzaffarnagar, Kanpur, Hardoi, Agra, Moradabad, Varanasi and Mathura — for similar events in February. These programmes are being organised by Jagruk Matdata Manch, an organisation run by RSS workers.
Joshi will also attend other events to create awareness against drug addiction in Gonda, Sultanpur and Banda later.
When contacted, Joshi said that while he will attend these events in UP, the dates for the same will be decided after the Delhi Assembly polls. Asked about his return to mainstream politics, Joshi said he has been active in the party and was attending events as a party member.
Sources said that Jagruk Matdata Manch is holding such events on the directives of top RSS leaders, indicating Joshi’s return to mainstream politics ahead of the 2017 UP Assembly polls. Joshi reportedly is also touring different parts of the country to attend programmes of BJP and RSS outfits.
Jagruk Matdata Manch’s state coordinator K K Shukla said cleanliness drives are being organised in these districts and he has invited Joshi on the demand of local party workers. Joshi will attend these events in February, he added.
Joshi had worked in UP before the 2011-12 Assembly polls. He continued working in the state ahead of the last Lok Sabha polls. In the meantime, he was kept away from the BJP national executive reportedly under pressure from Modi, who was then the Gujarat chief minister. A fortnight later, the party had also dissociated him from UP.
However, hoardings in Joshi’s support had surfaced in Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Lucknow.