Updated: June 2, 2021 7:16:29 am
PART OF one-on-one meetings held by BJP national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh with ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government for two days, party leader in-charge Radha Mohan Singh on Tuesday called the Covid management in the state as “unparalleled”.
He also told reporters that the purpose of their meetings was to “review social work done by our party leaders” and to plan for the possibility of a third wave. Asked about the meetings, several party leaders insisted there was no talk regarding any specific person, but rather about strengthening the organisation.
Since Adityanath became CM in 2017, it was the first time such meetings were held by a senior BJP leader with ministers and leaders in Lucknow. There have been murmurs in the BJP about the handling of the Covid surge in the state, with several party ministers and MLAs going public about the leadership being irresponsive to people’s woes. These claims have coincided with the BJP’s poorer than expected performance in the recent panchayat polls, which the party had talked up as a semi-final before the Assembly elections in UP next year.
On the second day of his visit, Santhosh met several ministers, as well as Deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma.
Maurya said, “He (Santhosh) is the organisational secretary of the party and discussions were held regarding the organisation and how to perform even better in the 2022 elections, and go beyond the 300 mark in the Assembly (of a total of 403 seats).”
Sharma said there was nothing unusual about the meeting, with senior leaders routinely holding such talks with partymen at the state level. He said the leaders had talked to him about Covid management and solutions, and how the party could reach out to the people more effectively.
Asked by PTI if there was possibility of a leadership change in the BJP in the state, Radha Mohan Singh said it was a figment of someone’s imagination.
“Generally, BJP review meetings take place twice a month, but this time there was a gap due to Covid-19… This pandemic was beyond everyone’s control. Despite this, the chief minister’s work was better compared to other states. The work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during the pandemic was unparalleled,” he told PTI.
One of the ministers whom Santhosh met, Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya, said the discussions were about improving coordination between the cadre and the government as elections approach, and not on getting feedback about any individual.
“No information is being sought regarding any particular individual. Instead, target is being set for better coordination between the organisation and government for victory in 2022).”
“In five weeks, Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh reduced the new daily case count by 93%… Remember it’s a state with over 20 crore population. When municipality CMs could not manage a city of 1.5 crore population , Yogiji managed quite effectively,” Santhosh tweeted later in the evening.
Sources said the coming elections for zila panchayat chairmen also figured in the talks. With the Samajwadi Party claiming to have given the BJP a tough fight in the recent panchayat polls, whose results remain ambiguous as they are not fought on party symbols, the chairmen elections offer the BJP another chance to claim victory. The elected panchayat members vote for the chairmen.
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