WITH THE induction of 14 state BJP leaders as ministers in the Adityanath government, the party organisation is set to get several new faces. With BJP reportedly following the “one person-one post” policy, changes in its organisational structure seem imminent, said party leaders. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah on Sunday has given rise to speculations that such changes may be introduced soon.
Along with nine UP BJP leaders, five office-bearers of the BJP national unit have been inducted in the state government. They include two of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s deputies — Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma. While Maurya is the party UP president and Lok Sabha MP from Phulpur in Allahabad, Sharma is the BJP national vice-president and the party in-charge for Gujarat. He has also been the Lucknow mayor twice.
Sources in the BJP said the top leadership may appoint a new state president within a month because the party has to prepare for local body elections, likely to be held in June. Maurya, a backward face, could be replaced by a Dalit leader to target BSP’s Dalit votebank, sources added.
A leader said that names of former Union minister Ram Shankar Katheria, Varanasi MLC Laxman Acharya — also the Kashi region president — Kaushambi MP Vinod Sonkar and BJP UP vice-president Ram Naresh Rawat are doing the rounds for the post. They are all Dalits.
“The party will also try to bring in regional balance. At present, the PM, CM and deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya are from eastern UP. The party is likely to choose someone from western UP for the state chief’s post,” said a leader.
Other UP leaders who have been sworn in as ministers are party treasurer Rajesh Agrawal, vice-presidents Dharampal Singh, Suresh Rana and Ashutosh Tandon Gopal, general secretaries Swatantra Deo Singh and Anupama Jaiswal and Mahila Morcha state president Swati Singh. While Agrawal was elected from Bareilly Cantonment, Dharam Pal is the MLA from Aonla, Suresh Rana from Thana Bhawan, Ashutosh from Lucknow East and Anupama Jaiswal from Bahraich. Swatanta Deo is not member of any House at present and Swati Singh is a first-time MLA from Sarojini Nagar in Lucknow.
Moreover, BJP national secretaries Shrikant Sharma, Sidharth Nath Singh and Mahendra Singh and national president for OBC Morcha, Dara Singh Chauhan, too have been inducted as ministers. While Sharma is the MLA from Mathura, Sidharth Nath has been elected rom from Allahabad West and Chauhan from Madhuban. Mahendra is a member of the UP legislative council and the party in-charge of Assam.
Also, the party may have to find another state chief spokesperson because the incumbent on the post, Bhagwant Nagar MLA Hridya Narayan Dixit, has been elected as the Speaker of the state Assembly.
“In view of the upcoming elections and other party programmes, the top leadership may a decision on this matter,” said BJP state spokesperson Chandra Mohan.