Arvind Kumar Sharma, the IAS officer, who had taken voluntary retirement and joined the BJP, was on Saturday appointed a vice-president of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit.
The announcement has an end to months of speculation that Mr Sharma could be handed a plum post in the cabinet of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls.
Mr. Sharma, who was elected an MLC after joining the party, was given the new responsibility by BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh.
An 1988 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, Mr. Sharma had closely worked with Narendra Modi, both in the Chief Minister's Office (Gujarat) and Prime Minister's Office in Delhi for almost two decades. He belongs to the Bhumihar caste and hails from Mau in Purvanchal.
Mr. Sharma thanked the national and State leadership of the BJP for his appointment.
“With the guidance of seniors and support of my karyakarta friends, I will be involved in the service of the society, the state and the nation,” Mr. Sharma said on Twitter.
Archana Mishra of Lucknow and Amit Valmiki of Bulandshahr were also appointed as State secretaries by BJP.
In preparation for the state polls, the BJP has also announced the heads of its various morchas (organisations) in the State. Former MP Narendra Kashyap was appointed the head of the Backward Morcha, while MP from Mohanlalganj Kaushal Kishor retains the BJP's Dalit wing and Rajya Sabha MP from Auraiya, Geeta Shakya, is the head of the women’s wing.