Yogi Adityanath will visit Delhi today for meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah amid reports of dissent in Uttar Pradesh. This is his first meeting with the Delhi leadership since turmoil started in UP for the BJP.
The Chief Minister will be in Delhi for two days. He is likely to meet with Amit Shah today and PM Modi and Mr Nadda tomorrow.
The visit comes a day after the BJP scored a high-profile recruit from the Congress, Jitin Prasada, a top Brahmin face in UP.
Mr Prasada is expected to play a big role in the BJP’s UP reset ahead of polls, especially in correcting the optics of the Yogi Adityanath government, perceived by a section of the state’s Brahmins as being pro-Thakur (Yogi Adityanath’s caste).
Last week, another Brahmin face made an entry into the state – former bureaucrat AK Sharma, known to be among PM Modi’s close aides, will be given an important role in the state.
With elections less than a year away in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is tackling a crisis of confidence in its ranks against Yogi Adityanath, with quite a few MPs and MLAs going public with their criticism of their own government’s handling of Covid.
Last week, senior BJP leader BK Santosh led a central mission to Uttar Pradesh to take feedback and review the state of affairs in meetings with ministers, MLAs, MPs and the Chief Minister too.
A senior leader of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Dattatreya Hosabale, who carried out his assessment, had recommended the feedback session.
One of the BJP’s immediate remedies is to add new ministers with caste and regional equations in mind, sources say.
Yogi Adityanath’s talks with central leaders are likely to focus on this exercise.
The BJP is eager to minimize the damage caused by criticism of the UP government’s handling of the pandemic. Images of bodies floating in the Ganga river or buried in shallow graves beside it came to represent just how hard the crisis had hit the state. The party’s MLAs and MPs also went public with their complaints against their own government.