With the presidential poll over, the BJP central leadership is now likely to take a call on getting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath elected to the state assembly by September to remain in office. The party also needs to decide on state Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, first-time Lok Sabha MP from Phulpur in Allahabad, who too needs to be elected to the state assembly by September. Yogi is Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur. The issue is likely to be decided when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah arrives on Saturday on a three-day visit to the state capital, a party leader said.
There are reports that Maurya, the Uttar Pradesh BJP chief, is likely to be shifted to New Delhi, with a berth in the Narendra Modi government. In case he is moved to New Delhi, there would also be a scramble for the post of state unit chief. Both Adityanath and Maurya have to get elected to the state assembly within six months of taking oath of office – March 26. Sources said the party had decided that Adityanath and Maurya should remain as MPs till the July 17 presidential poll, in which the BJP wanted its numbers to be complete. However, the resignation of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati from the Rajya Sabha has given a twist to the political developments.
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Mayawati, who is seeking to revive her political fortunes in the state after a series of electoral drubbings, may contest the Phulpur Lok Sabha by-poll, whenever it is held. The opposition could throw its weight behind her for the poll, posing a serious challenge for the BJP. Senior leaders in the party, who do not wish to be named, told IANS in private conversations that the party leadership is in “no mood to take any chances, whatsoever” with the by-poll. Keeping this in mind, the party leadership is trying to spike any chance of a vacancy arising in Phulpur, by accommodating Maurya in New Delhi.
With party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu’s exit for the vice presidential poll, a berth in the union ministry has fallen vacant. Maurya, who has been continuing as state BJP chief, will have to vacate it sooner or later on the basis of one person-one post principle in the party. To enter the state assembly, Adityanath is likely to settle for a seat in Gorakhpur, a place which has sent him to Parliament five times in a row without break since he was 28. The death of a legislator from Kanpur dehat, Mathura Prasad Pal, last week has thrown up a vacancy. This might go to Swatantra Dev Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Transport who also needs to be elected before the six-month deadline.
Another Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma is also not a member of the state assembly and he might be sent to the legislative council. Mohsin Raza, the lone Muslim face in the state government, is also not a member of either House. BJP president Amit Shah, during his visit, would be interacting with ministers in the state government, party office bearers, district unit chiefs and members of the frontal organisations, a state leader said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Uttar Pradesh MPs over the last week in two separate meetings where, sources said, the feedback given about the state government was “not too heart warming”.
Lawmakers from the state have complained to the Prime Minister that bureaucrats were running the show and they were not being heard and that the party cadre were getting restless, sources said. On Sunday, Adityanath met RSS leaders in the state capital before he left for Delhi to meet Shah on Monday.