Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has put to rest speculation that he was asked to shift to Delhi, and thereby settled the question of leadership, for now, in the State BJP and government as he heads into the 2022 Assembly election .
Amid questions over his future after the State government’s image received a blow during the questionable handling of the COVID-19 second wave and difference of opinion on the ‘CM face’ from some of his own colleagues, Mr. Adityanath had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi in July. Since then, the top BJP leadership , including Mr. Modi, have publicly praised the Chief Minister and his work ethic.
In an interview to The Hindu , Mr. Adityanath stated that he was not offered a role in Delhi during his visit to the national capital.
“We met over issues related to the State. I met him (Modi) earlier too and frequently seek his advice on governance issues,” he said.
No threat from stir
Mr. Adityanath also dismissed the electoral challenges posed to his party’s social arithmetic by the ongoing farmer agitation in western U.P. along with the alliance of the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal. The CM listed out the schemes implemented by the BJP government for farmers in the last seven years and labelled the farmers’ protest as being politically motivated.
“If this kisan andolan was connected to the interest of farmers, then possibly they could have had the support. This is politically motivated. And any such politically motivated campaign will not recieve support of people and annadata kisan ,” he said.
Likewise, he also dismissed the credentials of the Opposition, in particular the BSP, in wooing the dominant Brahmin community. The BSP and SP have constantly accused the BJP government, headed by a born-Thakur Mr. Adityanath, of targetting Brahmins.
“Since when is the BSP a champion of Brahmin samaj (community)? Their old slogans reflect their attitudes,” said Mr. Adityanath.
“Neither SP or BSP have the right to speak about social cohesion as they have advocated conflict between communities,” he said, adding that the two parties were trying to hunt for their lost social base which has come to the BJP.
‘United with allies’
The BJP currently has two allies in U.P. — the OBC-based Apna Dal and the Nishad Party. While Apna Dal chief Anupriya Patel was recently appeased with a berth in the Union Council of Ministers, Nishad Party president Sanjay Nishad has felt disgruntled and occasionally issued dissenting statements.
With all eyes set on a possible cabinet expansion or reshuffle in U.P. before the polls, Mr. Adityanath claimed there is no problem with the BJP’s allies.
“Issuing statements and the reality are different. Every political party has a right to run their campaign. How can we stop that? But our allies are working together with us,” he said.
Since 2017, there has been a change in perception about U.P. and this along with the development work and “effective situation” of law and order would be the issues on which the BJP will seek votes in 2022, the Chief Minister said.