Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday, amid speculation that there could be a Cabinet reshuffle in the state ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections, ANI reported.
This came a day after Adityanath met Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Lok Sabha MP and Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel also met both the political leaders at the home minister’s residence, The Indian Express reported. Patel’s party has been a key ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party after Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj quit the alliance in May 2019. Patel’s has demanded two ministerial berths for Uttar Pradesh and one at the Centre, according to NDTV.
The Adityanath government has faced severe criticism for failing to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic effectively, with images of bodies of Covid patients floating in rivers or buried in sand along riverbeds triggering outrage. Several BJP ministers and MLAs have also voiced grievances against their own government.
The saffron party’s poorer than expected performance in the panchayat elections held last month was also a cause of worry.
A week ago, BJP’s National General Secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh led a central mission to state capital Lucknow for review meetings. This was the first time that senior BJP leaders and ministers participated in such meetings since Adityanath became the chief minister in 2017.
In his feedback that Santosh received on the functioning of the Adityanath-led state government, there was resentment among non-Thakurs, NDTV reported. The chief minister belongs to the Thakur caste. Brahmin leaders, especially, flagged that their standing has diminished under Adityanath’s watch.
Charges of Adityanath “favouring” his community in appointments are also said to have been brought up several times during Santosh’s visit, according to The Indian Express.
Shah reportedly told the chief minister in the meeting that he should “take everyone along” and that the government should represent all sections of society.
Adityanath on Thursday also met Jitin Prasada, who left Congress and joined the BJP a day earlier. Prasada, who was once considered a close aide to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, wields a considerable influence among the Brahmins of Uttar Pradesh