At a time when Yogi Adityanath is already unhappy with the BJP leadership and not campaigning for the party,the BJP has chosen a leader from anti-Yogi camp to manage organisational and election-related activities till state president Surya Pratap Shahi is free from his election campaign work in Deoria district.
Vice-president Shiv Pratap Shukla,the stopgap president,is known for his rivalry with Yogi. naturally,the Yogi camp has not liked it.
It seems the party has some way of selecting people who are anti-Yogi. Be it Ramapati Ram Tripathi or Surya Pratap Shahi and now Shiv Pratap Shukla. Even if it is a temporary arrangement,it shows the way party leadership is handling affairs in the state, said a Yogi supporter in Gorakhpur.
Yogi had expressed his unhappiness with the party following induction of BSP leader Babu Singh Kushwaha and had demanded action against leaders who acted as middlemen. He was also annoyed over the party decision to deny ticket to some of his loyalists.
Shukla,a four-time MLA from Gorakhpur city,had lost in 2002 election as Yogi had opposed his candidature and fielded his own candidate,Radha Mohan Agarwal,under the banner of Hindu Yuva Vahini. Agarwal defeated Shukla and again won in 2007. He has been fielded this year too.
Asked about Shuklas appointment,BJP spokesperson Haridwar Dubey said: It is an internal party decision and should not be hyped. The decision has been taken as Shahiji is busy in his own election campaign. Shahiji would again take the responsibility after the election for the second phase is over.
Dubey added that there was no bad intention behind selecting Shukla for the responsibility. There are 10 vice-presidents but some are contesting election and among those,who are present,he is the seniormost, he said.