Faced with criticism over its handling of the second wave of Covid-19 and less-than-favourable results in the recently concluded gram panchayat elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party is now gearing up for next year’s assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. In a poll-related development since Yogi Adityanath assumed power in the state in 2017, BJP national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh yesterday held back to back meetings with ministers and party leaders in Lucknow, which was followed by a meeting with CM Adityanath. Santhosh is on a two-day visit to the state. His visit comes after several BJP ministers and MLAs openly claimed shortcomings in the response by the leadership amid calls for help by the people facing COVID-19 woes. Another issue that is concerning the leadership is the party’s poor performance in the recent panchayat polls, which the BJP itself had positioned as a semi-final to the assembly election. On the other hand, opposition parties have sharpened their attacks on the ruling party. Yesterday, AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged corruption by the Basic Education Minister Dr Satish Dwivedi.
Several reports have suggested that a cabinet reshuffle may be imminent this year. According to a report in the Indian Express, Santhosh gathered feedback about the functioning of different departments, works undertaken during Covid and the strategy the party should adopt to reach out to the masses. The party general secretary was also told about the lack of coordination between the BJP and the government.
If reports are to be believed, BL Santhosh met about seven ministers which included Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh, Medical Education and Finance Minister Suresh Khanna and Law Minister Brijesh Pathak. According to reports, BJP Uttar Pradesh in-charge Radha Mohan Singh, state party president Swatantra Dev Singh and state general secretary in-charge of organisation Sunil Bansal were present during the meeting.
Santhosh is expected to meet other ministers including Deputy CMs, Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya today.
On May 23, the senior leadership of RSS and the BJP held a meeting to discuss the impact of the Covid crisis on the assembly election. They also discussed the way forward and the strategy to be adopted by the party to strengthen its position. Reportedly, PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had also joined the meeting, showing the importance the party leadership is giving to the issues.